Monday, September 14, 2009

Streetlight, not Moonlight

It is streetlight , not moonlight that you are wrestling with.
Your tag team partner, the double layered curtain.

The streetlight’s partner is sleepiness and the late hour and the fumbling
of your tired fingers. You are outnumbered.

And I am awake, watching you tug at the fabric, forcing the light out.
Streetlight is not moonlight,

which beckons you to stand in it, to dance in it, to get your heart broken in it.
Streetlight only beckons moths who, let’s be honest, will go with any old light.

I get up to use the bathroom. I can hear the man upstairs pacing the floor.
The toilet seat is cold on my legs. It makes it hard to pee.

The cat circles, she cries, too loud for this late night. She stands in the door way
nudging at my pale legs. I kick at her. Not too hard but hard enough.

She doesn’t go away. She cries some more. She wants food. She wants love.
I tell her, Be Quiet. I hiss it. I want her to understand my language.

She doesn’t understand. She cries some more, trying to speak my language.
Like a baby cries, exhibiting only need, not understanding. Not words.

You are back in bed, facing the other way.
The streetlight is gone, mostly. You have won, mostly.

The cat has followed me back into the room.
She is still crying but I pretend not to understand.

I watch the curtain slip, and the streetlight creep up the wall,
like a flood line. You have lost. But you don’t know, yet.

I have lost too. The cat has lost. Only the blue-ish white light of the streetlight
has won. It stands out there on the street, alone, just trying to keep everyone safe.

Trapped in its nocturnal guardianship, just trying to keep everyone safe.
Just doing its job. But it’s an impossible job. Eventually it will lose, too.

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