I don’t ask for the night’s permission
to speak to it.
But I do feel like a book spine that has broken off,
as I sit in this plastic eggplant chair
in an airport that is trying to support me
like an uncomfortable afterlife.
Oh, wild fields at night
in the middle of a city
where hips tumble goldenrod
the white armrest
I mean the window in back
of the homeless shelter
I mean a black arrest
under a bell jar at night
these are just, the courts
I mean basketball
Sodium edge painted night
contemporary drawings of insects
around two orange lights
that watch over the tennis courts
at 3 a.m. and 3:01 a.m.
as if there were no difference
when the minute changes
when this nonexistent number
suddenly falls, neither
digital nor analog
just a thing
though you stand and watch
the empty courts
when it happens
Their mind mass slows to the cool
September air, the tempo a function of temperature,
their self-explanatory dying, told without pity. Count the beats
to know how much impersonal darkness they have left.
I can’t hear it impersonally. I want to personify the sound.
I believe there is someone making that sound,
even if my someone is only dark splinters on the ground.
I feel it’s talking to me, and somehow performing my mind.
If I can’t take it any longer, I will throw open the front door
of my house and yell at them. They will grow quiet for a moment
as if listening to me. And then they (no they there) will continue
their chant. The sound will close back over me
like starlight, and I will drown in that.
It’s so hard to close the fridge
in the middle of the night
and sentence all that food
to the dark side of the moon
to just cut the apron strings