Early Start

Judith Taylor

The Terrace is all but empty.
There's only me and a bus,
heading opposite ways

and the electronic bus-stops
that have been on duty all night
are bloodshot, getting a little strange by now:

Real Time, they tell me,
Currently Unavailable
Due to System Update. 6.03.

My eyes are pulsing
red, in sympathy.
From here on in there are shop displays,

ferociously lit and idle, all the way:
behind me, whole
blocks with maybe a single window,

maybe two, awake
as people get ready
quietly, for work; for sleep

at the end of their shift.
Or stare at the knowledge
sleep won't come for them now,

and the day begins already
bloodshot, raw; while above the roof a shiny planet
does the work of a star.