Aubade Palinode

The morning knocks lowkey
Astonishing as a dog’s

Inside-out ear. The dog rattles
Awake like a spoon in that cup

You used to use. You’re not in this one,
Or the next. Missing us is just a smoke

Alarm begging for batteries. What’s left
But the last time’s last time, turning it in

My hands like a soap. Is this merely
is what the faucet always asks

Of us. Love, what this kitchen needs is more
Congratulations. This kitchen needs someone

To zip up its dress. What’s left but all
This wrecked sheet cake. Is it already time

To send ourselves flowers? Is it by measure
Better than nothing? The paperwhites

Shallowly clearing their throats
From the sill. Everything electronic

Is also a clock, unfortunately. The dog
Factchecks / it’s evening. The power

Lines continue to connect us
To our twentieth-century selves.

Moon, you are doing so well
Up there. Every day we disappoint

You. Every night, we eat
Our floorboard hearts out.

Amy Woolard is a legal aid attorney working on civil rights policy & legislation in Virginia. Her debut poetry collection, Neck of the Woods, received the Alice James Award and was published in April 2020 by Alice James Books. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Poetry, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Fence, & elsewhere, while her essays and reporting have been featured in publications such as Slate, The Guardian, Pacific Standard, The Rumpus, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.