Stefania Heim

9:35 am



Shower window watching

reflected foliage

fall. Making steam

through a crack. Is there a single

word for such complicated

feeling? How


language comes to the child: how, gallop gallop.

3:41 pm



At one a.m. she wakes for day. She hears the bells and tries to know their message. These bells say

sleep? For her time is a signal for behavior. The bells just mark. We read them for her, like we would

in the fields if we were working. One long now, and one short. Two short and then three. Two long.

They will say everyone gather around your various tables. In this place of concentrated association,

time is coded for prescribed communal use. Now eat. Now rest. And when the sun has set walk slowly

up and down the roads of winding houses. Walk to where the lights stop and the darkness is

sudden. A dog across the hills sounds close, another, farther, calls more menacingly back.

12:20 pm



Upon returning from the journey we are all more tired

than we were before. Tireder. Est. Sum. The child interrupts

her accustomed rhythms to loll about the bed. In addition

we bring new acuity to the assessment of our objects. It is

true, for example, we boast no murals or painted tile floors.

Though the dust that coats us is surely less apocalyptic. But this

assignation of objects is a pastime of toddlers. Instead

of learning the new language she makes nonsensical,

musical, sounds. What is is, in

deed. And whose.


STEFANIA HEIM is author of A Table That Goes On for Miles (Switchback 2014). She teaches at Duke University and is a Poetry Editor at Boston Review.