Hadley Austin

Sheltering in Place in Shanghai

 In this Shanghai apartment I’ve been waking
 before the birds. This morning the moon
 was an orange fingernail above 
 the tiled rooftops. 
 Time slows when you are alone. It slows
 even more when you are alone in the dark.
 Come the end, perception of time is all
 we’ll have had. There are microbes 
 on the ocean floor who live on almost
 nothing, their metabolisms so slow
 that the millions of years they have been
 alive have felt to them quite fast. They
 missed the dinosaurs entirely, the way
 we might miss a movie’s run in the theater. 

HADLEY AUSTIN is a poet and filmmaker currently moored in Chicago. Her written work has appeared in, amongst other places, Stirring, Tipton Poetry Journal, and The Antelope. Find her online at http://www.hadleyaustin.com