Leaning into the Afternoons

Let the Night Sleep In

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(Charlotte, 2012)

For years
This is as close as I’ve been to the ocean
Staring out my high-rise window
Into a ghostly and featureless mist
That consumes these erstwhile monuments
Sighing, I recall the power of planes
Of trains
Of change

Let the night sleep in
I’ll pray that it engulfs us all

This city seethes
With busyness and glass
(and some hope)
Buildings sting and echo
Smothered by a hot embrace
Leave me above it all
Or dash my soul against my will

I miss the winter birds
Black eyes with sparks
Of cold grace
Playful defiance
With cries that pierce the cold
Shrill and comforting

Boldly perched on highest reaches
Hardy and austere
Alone and together all at once
Bluer and blacker
Ember-singed hearts
Crying in voices with no reply

Come, winter, and stir my pen
With mercury for the veins
Flight for weightless fingers
New words vital to imagination
Cutting the quick
Close to bone

Bring love, too
Wild and innocent
Broken and peaceful
Bristling with anticipation
A grin for my late-night face
A quiver for my bow-and-arrow soul

So let the night sleep in
I’ll pray that it engulfs us all