SHADOW OF NIGHT
Do not try to tell me
that the night does not cast a shadow.
No night was ever so dark
that its bony silhouette
wasn’t laid bleak
against some empty sidewalk
or huddled in the alcove of
an abandoned warehouse.
If you haven’t seen the shadow yourself,
No, not the heavy lines
not the reeling crash of headlight,
nor the brush of the white moon.
Not even the feathered chiaroscuro
of starlight through the smokestacks.
It is the last taste of beer in your glass,
the shadow of gesture on
the bar stool near closing time,
the space that lies between
two still bodies after
The shadow straddles soft words in
the dark and rides them
in deft turns.
It shakes the branches of your dreams
and wakes you like a stark,
Don’t ask me for sure, where the shadow of the night
goes when the morning eases in.
It breathes beneath the heavy movements
of crows in the trees,
and squats by the riverbank-
It pools in your morning coffee
and eddies in the shallow wind
and shoulders its way
onto the bus
and sits in the back, brooding.
It lives in the hesitation
between attraction and affection
and attaches to the underbelly of concern.
It lives in casual conversation
and mocks the passage of the sun....
and come some long evening
when the slick skin of the empty
night presses against
you in your sleep,
the shadow will reveal its source.