The New Year

Maja Lukic

A smoke horse gallops 
from a rooftop.
An oversized rabbit follows. 
Turning silence. 
Some flashes in the distance—
what are they? 
And who else is awake 
but me, a tired woman 
in her white bed-cloud, 
hair not brushed, 
and skin untouched? 
Because it’s the first of 
the first month of a new year, 
every new second is crucial—
even the noises that bother me, 
messages that arrive 
too late or too early. 
Half of the sky is black, 
the other half water.
The city rests, resists. 
Headless animals drift 
above darkened buildings,
like floats in a slow parade 
or the faded army 
of December, retreating. 
And because it’s too difficult 
to think how every other year 
has turned out to lash 
and laugh and love, 
in time, I will stand up 
and brush my hair 
and meet the new snakes
and among them, find ones to adore
and coil around my neck.