A Moment in the Night

Then the night comes in and I embrace it,
unseen, unaccountable, the dark air
standing about me and all that is mine

like an invisible cloak; and at last
time stops. With a little expectation,
I call on you but you start at my voice

as if I have returned from the deadlands
with the head of the monster in my bag
and a gold necklace taken from its lair.

‘You are too late,’ you say, holding the door.
And before was too soon. It is still
in the street beneath the night. How many

ways for walking can there be? A thousand.
My legs are heavy but the stars are out.

Scenting the Other

And sometimes you would step right up to me,
giving nothing away, and look—and go
back in. All around, the noises had slept

for a moment; I awoke and was free
but still wearing a thin hunger. Too slow,
these dull reflections, too late; yet you kept

me outside like a dog…if I could be
stronger, still I would rest in a dark, low
kennel, whining, unable to accept

my lot, though unable each time to see
we share in deciding the way things go
and yet I cannot speak. So I am left

by my own shadow, wincing at the light.
You walk to the headland in black and white.


You, unaccompanied—you insisted—
you hear yourself but it is hard to see.

At night, there is no help for it. Darkness
hides the sun but not the coil of the worm.
You remove your shoes. A coin is ready.
Now I remember last summer with joy

that is stunted with regret for time not
acted on, enlarged by imagining.

There is an open door with a steep drop.
You laugh when I lead you to the edge. Deep
is the fall and no returning, you think,
as you plunge with me calling out after

and again, the curse for the left-behind
in the living air that sings your echo.