Rise in the morning and walk into your day.
Gather your clothes for washing. Pack them hastily, and dress warmly. Switch handbags and load a small saddle bag with books, paper, pens, planners. Wrap a looped scarf around your neck and thread the ends through the loop.
Step to the street.
Look. It's raining. The downhill slope makes your toes point like a ballerina's. The big pack goes first, to the corner-facing shop. Sit perched on the bus-stop seats, black pedals, and read the sign in the shelter.
Grape Nuts pronounces your home what it is, such as it is. Garrison Keillor announces the birthday of poet Philip Larkin, and you think back to a poem of his on treading water with a daughter you don't have. The bus climbs--gravity is supporting your back.
A family gets on the bus at Haight and Pierce and proceeds to yell at each other and beat each other up as they pay fare. One of the passengers asks them to keep it down. The mother throws down and walks to the asking passenger, demanding a fight. The driver starts to dismount. The family leaves, beating each other up, spitting on everyone on the bus because they can't ride.
The morning feels impermanent. You aren't furious. It feels like you should be. Instead, the moment passes. You step down at Octavia, just in time to hold the bus for a running passenger. You walk to breakfast: a heavy platter of gravies and greens and crispy brown and fluffy egg.
You walk to Flax. You select inks of all cartridge. You walk back up through brick layerings of piss and venom. Downstairs the turnstiles hold three large bars rigid. Down, down, down...deep in the fuzzy black greased track.
The L, now. The Church Street station...now. The Castro station...now. The Forrest Hill station of bland tile...now. West Portal.
An hour with the therapist. You shoulds. Rain/cold/wind. The hill pulls you back down, flip the switch, and on the T. Stop, stop, stop...dozing...now out to Philz where the sun is and it has to be warmer here. Pulling layers off like a lover. Writing like a love letter.
Back to the Sunset on N.
Letter from a friend from far away.
You...are...Minerva. Serpents, recompense. Cats, mortal attacks.
The owl is I.
My mother was Winnie, my father Eyore, my brother Christopher Robin, and I am Owl. I have knowledge of the world different than one shift.