December 20

comments 21

Such a still night. There’s the silent
police light, blue cyclic, a car stopped

on the tracks. I pass, catch phrases
by surprise– I don’t care and

should we try? This day has gone
by in a thumb of pages, brisk

breeze, alacrity. People siphon off
down alleys. The city is never

not bright– two tickers wrap
around buildings– a strip club,

and headlines.  The theme
is themes– the cycle repeats

itself, among angular buildings,
a ring. Meaning a call, or a promise–

such a still night. Streetcars snake
through empty blocks, warehouses

once, reclaimed, or tamed–
In the nearest modern office

someone is working late, flat
as a painting behind plate glass.

A distant siren, leaving, not
arriving. A symphony of horns,

a car reverses, but not that one–
no room for personal relief

in a leitmotif. Burgeoning on,
a still night again, but still,

cacophonies of light. How
a day expands, and yet

has nothing on its absence–
the night as a vacuum, so relatably

wanting. Downshifting,
a car announces its passing.

The streetcars are all but
empty at this hour, and this one

waits, painted cheeky green
like some futuristic caterpillar–

the night as chrysalis,
or as a cocoon, some

preparatory state, still
such a shock, to not be what

you thought, silk wings
dusted with doubt, settled

on some ledge or sill, on some
quiet night, with a long-chambered

heart, and only the will to bow
to light, to follow, lacking

discernment, everything
a moon, or acceptably close,

the night a canvas that wants
embroidering, silk thread pulled

through, completed loops,
and that dream of closure–


      • The night is dark, and yet it is full and deep. It would be pierced by a myriad of lights, and so become sterile and desolate.


  1. Loving the extended metaphor. There’s a certain relentless breathlessness in this poem for me that I find I like. Left me light-headed after reading aloud. X


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