Quarter Past Blue
It’s just the sort of paper-thin night
to make me steal the clapper from the mission bell
and leave it on your doorstep like a stuttered prayer.
In your room I see a writing light,
soft and dirty as an oyster.
I know you can hear me
out here in the static,
scraping on your pane like a raccoon.
I’ve been to the pond.
It’s not as if the swans were your personal secret.
Come out and walk with me across the Sonoma
town square, on the edge of the green.
I’m wearing my papier-mâché wings,
and they’re not yet dry. The moon’s been released
on its own recognizance. This is serious traffic, gridlock
intergalactical, Friday-night lust and spleen. This is
the it they mean when they say this is it. You are so
caught up in your own devotions. You are so not
what you think you are. It’s late,
half past revelation, quarter past blue,
and you’re still counting the chits, waiting for something
better than love as cold and magical as dry ice
to come along and sideswipe you, hit and run,
without leaving a scratch.
First published in Field; also appears in 2004 Pushcart Prize anthology.