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This is a letter to the night. If you are not
the Night, please don’t be offended,
and feel free to repurpose this.
This poem is like a jar emptied out
to catch insects on a summer night,
but then not ever used. Left there
with the screw lid forever on, a yellow
scratched lid. The End.
(A smell of pickles will haunt it
longer than anyone you know
will be alive.)

Wait. I have something to tell the moss…

“I see something and I like something
and I copy it. I am like you in your green
cushions of breath. I copy it
the way you put down on earth breath
after breath, heartbeat after heartbeat.
We’re making a composition. There’s a reason
the stars stay up all day. They must have
blue insomnia.

“I still keep looking out the front door, checking
for the mail, even though there’s no longer
any house. ‘Get down off that table!’
the poem screams at me and claps
its hands angrily. My feet smack the carpet
and I stalk away in resentment, my tail
filled with poison now, ancient poison.

“This is an epistle written to the night,
the one that owes me money.”

[3 a.m. crickets, wall of sound: the ghosts of monks chanting in the yard]

                                        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.

Poem for Night Owls

O Moon
of the hackled night
like a door ajar,
a door ajar with chalk,
with oldest chalk
of oldest board,
[who talks all night
on the starry telephone]
write on these floorboards,
make me get out of bed
to copy your thoughts
on paper or light
like paper, where
we are now, inside a net here,
another door ajar,
and everyone
like moonlight
pinging around
on Facebook,
and Hey,
oh you people made of moonlight,
feel free to add me.