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The early light, already mellow, inches
up his steps; it bleeds through the blinds, and slides
down the sheer drop of sleep. He draws a breath,
it makes a sound, and he knows, in the belly
of old age, he knows he can rise, one more day.
Slow mincing steps to the bathroom, the stink
of old raging in the toilet; arthritic hands,
a sliver of soap; in the mirror a face
like a broken dish. He stumbles to the kitchen,
already the windows are burning, the night's
rain clings to bare branches. He cups a bowl
of milk and sips, bony arms braced on the table.
His cramped hand …