The Sophistry of Night
That moment before sunrise:
When all questions should be asked
Once and then forgotten.
A moment parched with promise, snapdragon tense.
At the downbeat of the day, he asks himself:
Will it happen again, will it take the usual form?
At other latitudes: the lifted baton,
The raised fork to watering mouth,
the open mouth, the sucked-in breath
as hand is lifted, fisted and senseless.
The day brings questions
That night sloughs off.
This new cold fear: that the end is near.
Go back to the violent umber of night.
Give away all that might be left to grieve.
At the downbeat of the day he asks
Will it happen again, will it take
The usual form?
He watched the sky: slate to granite to gunmetal gray,
From a room that had witnessed nothing.
These morning moments stretch
Through upside-down days.
Day follows dawn follows dark
And the questions come round again.
At the downbeat of the day: Could it
Happen again, would it
Take its usual form?
His fullest life is lived at night,
the days merely melon-
sliced in they wear thin with time.
Night, if he plays favorites,
Grows thick and epochal.
He dreams of sleeping as a child again:
Breathing a moon-scented night
Innocent as a nun in the mews
Her armature inviolable but light.
To sleep without fearing
the sophistry of night.