Morning by Sarah Dowling


Number one is my coast

Number two is my sunshine

Number three is mornings

Number four is my feel

Number five is my girl

Number six is that somebody

Number seven: go death

Number eight is my girl

Number nine is mouth

Number ten is my feel

Number eleven is my naughty

Number twelve is girl

Number thirteen is my coast

Number fourteen: go tea

Number fifteen is that somebody

Number sixteen is tell nobody

Number seventeen is cigarette

Number eighteen is my feel

Number nineteen is my girl

Number twenty: go robe

Number twenty-one is my hawk

Number twenty-two is window

Number twenty-three is my feel

Number twenty-four is that naughty

Number twenty-five is flies

Number twenty-six is my girl

Number twenty-seven: go snow

Number twenty-eight is my girl

Number twenty-nine is might

Number thirty is my feel

Number thirty-one is my coast

Number thirty-two is baby

Number thirty-three: go dock

Number thirty-four is bout nobody

Number thirty-five is that one

Number thirty-six is my naughty

Number thirty-seven is girl

Number thirty-eight is buses

Number thirty-nine is my feel

Number forty: go clouds

Number forty-one is my girl

Number forty-two is my girl

Number forty-three is that’s good

Number forty-four: go flutes

Number forty-five is beach

Number forty-six is my feel

Number forty-seven is my girl

Number forty-eight is my bees

Number forty-nine is tell naughty

Number fifty is nobody

Number fifty-one is my coast

Number fifty-two: go sand

Number fifty-three is that somebody

Number fifty-four is my girl

Number fifty-five is my girl

Number fifty-six: go tears

Number fifty-seven is heart

Number fifty-eight is my feel

Number fifty-nine is my girl

Number sixty is that we’ll

Number sixty-one is my naughty

Number sixty-two is birds

Number sixty-three is baby

Number sixty-four: go humor

Number sixty-five is parking lot

Number sixty-six is my feel

Number sixty-seven is bout nobody

Number sixty-eight is my girl

Number sixty-nine is my coast

Number seventy: go keys

Number seventy-one is that somebody

Number seventy-two is car

Number seventy-three is my feel

Number seventy-four is my naughty

Number seventy-five is girl

Number seventy-six is my girl

Number seventy-seven: go bicycle

Number seventy-eight is lunch

Number seventy-nine is my feel

Number eighty is that somebody

Number eighty-one is my girl

Number eighty-two is tell nobody

Number eighty-three: go anchovies

Number eighty-four is my girl

Number eighty-five is sentence

Number eighty-six is my feel

Number eighty-seven is my naughty

Number eighty-eight is my coast

Number eighty-nine is that somebody

Number ninety: go stars

Number ninety-one is my girl

Number ninety-two is snow

Number ninety-three is my feel

Number ninety-four is my girl

Number ninety-five is baby

Number ninety-six: go calling

Number ninety-seven is card

Number ninety-eight is my girl

Number ninety-nine is that somebody

Number one hundred is bout naughty

Number one hundred and one is nobody

Number one hundred and two is nothing

Number one hundred and three is my feel

Number one hundred and four: go music

Number one hundred and five is my girl

Number one hundred and six is my girl

Number one hundred and seven is my coast

Number one hundred and eight is that somebody

Number one hundred and nine: go crossword

Number one hundred and ten is puzzle

Number one hundred and eleven is my girl

Number one hundred and twelve is my girl

Number one hundred and thirteen is my naughty

Number one hundred and fourteen is feel

Number one hundred and fifteen is my girl

Number one hundred and sixteen: go passenger

Number one hundred and seventeen is tell nobody

Number one hundred and eighteen is that flies

Number one hundred and nineteen is my girl

Number one hundred and twenty is my coast

Number one hundred and twenty-one: go place

Number one hundred and twenty-two is my sunshine

Number one hundred and twenty-three is my girl

Number one hundred and twenty-four is that naughty

Number one hundred and twenty-five is somebody

Number on hundred and twenty-six is baby

Number one hundred and twenty-seven is morning

Number one hundred and twenty-eight is my feel

Number one hundred and twenty-nine is my sunshine

Sarah Dowling’s note on the poem:

In his now-famous coming-out letter, Frank Ocean describes the life-changing effects of his first love. An unnamed, unspecified soundtrack is crucial to this experience: “I reminisced about the sentimental songs I enjoyed when I was a teenager. The ones I played when I experienced a girlfriend for the first time. I realized they were written in a language I did not yet speak.” We all know this language, even if we, like Frank Ocean, don’t speak it yet: mundane, inane, relentless, at once unfulfillable and disappointingly true. “Morning” draws on some of these sentimental songs, their teenage repetitivity, their unspeakable bathos and unavoidable sincerity. Its title and structure are taken from another Frank — this one’s O’Hara: “I’ve got to tell you / how I love you always.” I wanted to write a text caught between being completely poignant and completely flattened. I wanted to write in a language I did not yet speak. I wanted a text whose retrospection and repetition would not slide into critical superiority and hauteur. I wanted a text that would be as machine-like as love, doing it over and over again.