Autumn nights I stay awake from terrible dreams
each slightly different, at their center a core unchanged.
I wander like a whistle loosened from a train. Man with
dog and nothing else to do. When the light hits the city
I’ll become me again. Until then we drive, then walk.
Leaves rake the ground; hills hidden all summer stand
revealed. In the distance, cars hum the highway overpass.
I do not want to describe them. Dog sprints ahead,
enamored of scents. I plod a stretch of grass beside
the river’s dark streak. Our path gives way to trees. Even
insects refuse this hour. My legs grow tired; my back
strains. Light thickens the east–clots of misery and
hope. Buildings become strips of gray against paling blue.
Time enough to join the clouds? This Indian summer
will break soon. A first bird calls. In the distance I watch
the city’s heart slowly reassemble itself: traffic, crowds,
duty to be done. I am gladdened by the sun. There
was a time I walked
I sit, rub my eyes. Can’t weave day, can’t unravel night,
must see through grief instead. Proclaim: I am a
welcome intrusion on wind, land and sun. I can watch
cliffs with calm eyes. I can lay dew-backed on grass
rooting upwards. Now listen…