It starts with the screech of steel, echoing
like the rusty throats of ghosts, wailing
from an underground dungeon,
pulling you back, half-awake
and only half-hallucinating.
Outside the window,
egg-shaped pools of light
around spotlights in the yard
shrink and dim
like the memories of dreams.
Then come the breakfast carts crashing
over the threshold, rattling
like shackles bound to the bones
who drag their chains as they come
from somewhere, deep down,
to remind you how long it’s been
and how long you still have.