Rest us as a favorite book upon the pillow, and close
our lids upon the darkness. The night keeps active
those it owns. The turning and the walking, the sighing
and the persistent. Let us set down what we choose.
Pull the long thin thread of sleep taut, take one step out
We never wanted to leave there.
We pressed backward down the street.
Drifted listless through the night.
And then home, empty as the poor we pass along the way.
Murmuring among ourselves, we give our useless words
over to slurring. Everything empty sits quiet by itself.
Give rest to those of us who do not rest, who wave
the flags of warning through the storm. The nearsilent
rustle of the fabric will appear in our dreams.
Fulfill one promise. The way a hand will sometimes
settle into another hand. Set our hands upon the bed
We talked late through the night.
Our voices slipped simply into comfort.
The telephone was cool and warm at once.
In the dark so much is colored with finality. Anything new
seems sudden and too much, before it too sifts itself
away. The night calling us back, then calling us in.
The ink nestles down into the fibers of the paper. Slow
vibrations of the lowest piano strings, too, wind down.
That movement of those strings that once was visible.
Let consciousness fall dormant, while poetry, dark and shiny
undulates within us. We imitate children—they just give
I locked the door.
Nothing was still.
I thought of you
in wonder with the city on fire. The shadows seem
to mock us, talk to us. Let them cradle us in their arms.
Let us steal the sleepy and the lazy from their places.
We can keep them for ourselves. The lessons of the tired
are the lessons of the dead. An act of remembering
the ones for whom we wake. They are perfect in the art
of ignoring, and confident in its residual effects.
Trustworthy as a kiss.
Here, give me breath.
We will not smile.
We will not see.
We cannot hear
the wick burning out, nor smell its sulfur smoke.
Our resistance is simpleness, and no show of strength.