Sitting amidst piles of books
and papers
floor littered with shoes
socks where I pull them off
as soon as I come in the door.

Small mice–not real ones, no–
scattered about where the cats leave them
in their boredom.

Unwashed dishes and unswept floors

and me, at my computer in the shorts and
tank top I slept in
unbrushed hair, bleary-eyes
still heavy with the restless night
of what passes for sleep
behind blue-framed glasses that somehow
don’t help with the eyestrain today.

Coffee cup at my left hand,
leftover, cold Chinese food at my right,
keyboard in my lap because
a cat is laying on the desk  asserting his presence
by being in the way.

Stiff back, tight shoulders, and light throbbing
in my right temple that might turn into
a migraine later today.

Deep breath. Roll shoulders, stretch neck
from side to side and place fingers to keyboard.

This is a portrait of the grad student
on a Sunday morning.

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