At night, and
the world is quieter because eyes are blackened.
In a lidded walk, plants are reduced to the general shapes of darkness.
You could not find chamomile for a lawn, which would take
the shape of wind. You could not find your tomatoes wolfing
over the fence because they would be the edge of a hill.
Night is plantless, a place of sounds and scents,
and animals the color of night. A skunk is probably walking
the alley beyond my house, beyond my black lawn,
for I can smell him. I have a cat with me. He wants
nothing or for it, but a rustling breeze. There must be
some cool breeze out there in a night turned so dark.
Hard to find, as you know, something cool now.
Refrigerator open, it would perspire, its coolness only
temporary. The raspberries I picked freeze behind me.
They don’t live in the real world anymore.
The boundary between
anything real and
the rest, messy and rich,
bits of experience are
murky. Hands push
through the night but
can’t hold it. We do not
know the Stations of
the Evening, but in one
of them the evening
bleeds while woven
into the fabric of a
silver maple. Gets dark
enough, and the tree
and the evening both
of something tells me
that, that there could be
a tree that represents
all other trees, that this
evening could be a memory
of all other evenings
too warm for thinking.
Walk in a puddle of night, and would you there feel
the sweat of every sleeping body around you in every
screened window? The air seeping in, the air seeping
out, openly in the form of a human breathing. It is
only a house, only houses, only a street, and wires overhead
strewn between dead trees. They might carry voices
of people back and forth, the way in which we breath
our words out to someone and they breathe them in
and back out. We can’t leave this night, I don’t think.
It’s not that we don’t have the will or even opportunity.
We don’t have the inclination. A few warm evenings,
a few plantless evenings walking over the sidewalks,
watching for skunks that are nothing more than the scent
that precedes them. That is enough for now.
You can grow your lawn into chamomile later.