Creme Brulee

by Kat Seidemann

Awareness, a bubble rising through the sweet thick cream of slumber to burst upon the burnt sugar brittleness of morning. Yet I do not open my eyes. Each day I wish, I hope, to descend back into the warm custard comfort of dreams. The clock casts its malicious green stare about the room. I evade its antifreeze intentions, which attempt to ooze past my guardian lashes and under my heavy lids. Like a child, I trust that if I cannot see its face then I am hidden from its view, but I know I cannot resist its siren song for much longer.

Another green-eyed glower creeps upon me. How does he always know? Surely, it is not the simple shallowing of my waking breath. My heart trails a conga-line from its proper place and dances madly in my throat. Perhaps it is this relocation, this movement that catches his feline attention. To him my heart is simply limping prey to be turned into another plaything. I should move before those velvet gloves, which hide swift crystal scimitars, find my vulnerable flesh once again, but these blankets hold my curves like flowering meadow grasses hug fertile sunlit ground. How difficult it is each morning to pluck away these night-scented blooms to pave space for the day’s highway.

I become aware that the silkworms of sleep have been busy. I recognize the feel of their handiwork at the corners of my mouth, on my teeth, over my tongue. After such industriousness, they have gone to rest in the bellows-caverns of my lungs, but one sigh, heavy with morning-acceptance, will drive them out. Only their grimy cocoons will remain, clinging, until I can brush them away.

As they do every morning, it is my limbs that betray me with their battle cry against gravity. They twitch and tingle with the daily urge to rise up and defeat this epic foe. I am thus induced to succumb to morning. I can only hope that verticality will quiet my wayward heart and send it back to its proper place. I blink and with my usual shudder, stretch, and sigh I throw off body-warm blankets. I am awake.