For a while I felt that death was near,
But discovered it was only morning
Rendering the night into another varied shade of fear,
And the comfort of its closeness fled from me without a word or warning.
In the drawn out darkness there, I had, at least, a sense of ease
That I would not have to struggle, deny, or like the meek, appease
The disdainful demands of polite and politically contrived convention,
And could dwell instead in one that has not need, regret, mercy, nor a trust of
For most, nights grow long; mine instead have abrupt endurance, loath to last,
And through nights grown short an indulgent sanctuary seems to pass
As some brief, meandering encounter in some backstreet of the heart.
Where love's adversaries meet, skirmish in the night, seek ruthless retribution
and just as suddenly they part.
But my small worlds collapse readily anyway, a once distressing trait,
Passed down from dream to dream, hope to hope, a misbegotten heredity
adapting itself as fate.
And yet I wonder why I sustain such quaint hesitation,
When all it would require is but an instant's resignation.
For there is nothing that holds me from taking rest,
And I am certain I have seen all the best
That such a one as me can see with tired and jaundiced eyes,
And do not think that I would miss you much; such a word lacks a certain justice
in this hour of night's demise.
No, not at such a time, when a tempested shipwreck would seem like easy
The memory of you is all that really seeks release.
Seeking some shelter, down, away, and far from contrasting shadows, and stark
On a now barren wall, bereft of all but pocked mark plaster and the lingering
redolence of careless cigarettes
Smoked indifferently as I wait for night in this bright empire lacking any shade,
Among bed sheets last touched by you, crumpled long ago in a heedless rush
and yet remain unmade.