May/June 2018 • Vol. XL No. 3 Nature's (Human) NatureMay 1, 2018 |

Interior Landscape: 6:00 a.m.

Before I open my eyes, breathe in the soiled air from the construction site across the street, before I know whether it's cold or damp, or bright, recall whether I have attended to my duties— before I know if I am awake or in dream, and whether the chorus of morning birds is menacing or clairvoyant, before I rise to stretch, wipe the sleep from my eyes, collect the newspaper, before I fear the fate of our children, the crumbling of democracy like the bricks of a building giving way over the weight of its neglect, and the rotting seams of its history, before I pass, as I always do, on my circuitous route to the train, the for-rent signs on the store fronts on Broadway, the homeless man in dirty rags who sleeps above the suicide grate (what are his thoughts, hopes, prayers) and the one who makes his bed on the concrete outside Victoria's Secret with his teeth rotted out and lice in his hair. Before I worry about addiction, and the rangy teenage girl and her s

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Jill Bialosky is the author of three volumes of poetry. Her most recent collection is Intruder. She is the author of two novels, House Under Snow and The Life Room, and a New York Times best-selling memoir, History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life.

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