Accidental Morning


Late turned to early when the mail slipped under the door,

a tiny crease of lemony light covered, then revealed. 

Those pebble steps.


Somehow the tea cooled. You called it the colonizer’s drink,

and I put my hands over my ears, I said,

to warm them.


When the heat turned off, we knew it was spring again.

The marigold splashed itself into the hallway,

despite our protests.


I placed a petal in the oval of your chest (but your body had grown

out of my stretch). A mailman’s thumb.

Smudged return address.


All of it, morphing without our consent. No wonder

I fumble like any accidental supplicant, whose prayer

is for a single lull to stay and be.



Cathy Go is the recipient of the River of Words Grand Prize in Poetry and a Columbia University fellowship funding her first chapbook project, which aims to present both oral history and poetry in a dialogue on memory, landscape and diaspora. She has been published in Cuckoo Quarterly, Just Poetry and the Columbia Review.