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At 3:30 A.M.
I gradually rise from my ocean of sleep
Away from the trenches of unconsciousness
Where lantern-fish dreams lurk.

Tick, tick, tick
The dutiful second hand is making itself dizzy again.
The fish tank motor sounds throughout the night.

It is dark
Yet I can see outlines of posters on my wall.
My long-haired cat
Is curled tightly
At the end of the bed.

My pillow is squashed
Sheets wrap around me
All other blankets
Tossed unceremoniously
To the floor.

My throat is sandpaper dry
There is a tug at my stomach.
I need milk.

Toes land among carpet fuzz
Then lift slowly
I stumble through the hallway.

The kitchen blacker than my bedroom
Outside puddles shudder with raindrops
The cat has slipped past me
She peers out with interest.

I flip the switch
And harsh light glares
Into my pupils.
I can’t see the rain any longer
The windows are dark squares.

I pour milk, and down the glass
Leaving it on the counter.
I flee the frozen tiles
And climb into bed.

3:30 A.M. Sonja Skye Wooley
Sonja Skye Wooley, 12
Berkeley, California