Aubade with To-Do List

Melissa Goodrich


  • Shake open like a bird.
  • The blinds are open and the cold is pawing at the blankets. Close the blinds. Let the morning nose its way into the corners.
  • Blink slowly. Open.
  • Keep opening. Morning light has a molassesness to it. It pours out from under the blinds, clings to your feet. Push through. Each step a little Open and Close.
  • Turn off the fan.
  • Close the bedroom door quietly behind you.
  • Don't startle the rabbit on purpose. When you do, feed him, run a knuckle across the bridge of his nose. Let him loose, cannoning out of his cage.
  • Wonder what day it is. Wonder why day starts at midnight at not at dawn. 
  • Keep wondering. Tear open the tea bag. Press open the water pot. Open the little spout in the fridge. 
  • Close the water pot. Wait. 
  • Submerge. Wait. 
  • Let color bloom in your cup. This, too, is an opening.
  • Open your email. Ugh.
  • Email is the worst. Open it.
  • Open and respond. Respond. Respond. The dawn shakes open like a bird behind you, behind the blinds.
  • Are your eyes even open to see this? [Respond]
  • The rabbit wants you to close the cage, open the cage.
  • Open your email. Refresh. 
  • Open. Refresh. Open. Open.
  • Open the fridge. Open the cereal box. Open the Netflix app. Open the google doc. Open the planner. Open your arms, your eyes, the space between each rib. Open the drawer. Rummage. Open the save-the-date where you have checked "Regretfully Declines" and drawn a sad face and wish you could kind of take the sad face back. Now you feel like you owe the "Regretfully" a letter, some kind of addendum.
  • Write the addendum. 
  • Put off writing the addendum. 
  • [Respond]
  • Think about:
    • how nice it is to close something. 
    • sealing an envelope. 
    • the low-rumble of the washing machine. 
    • the tiny key it takes to lock/unlock the mailbox.
  • Unlock and open the front door.
  • Open your mouth and take a 100% breath.
  • Let the light straight into your bloodstream. Make it a lightstream. No more blood.
  • No more addendums.
  • Open.
  • Keep opening.
  • Take aim with your whole damn heart.