Night Life

Back then we had begun to be like two trees
whose roots had intertwined
and grown together
so that you could not tell one from the other.

At night our limbs would reach and tangle
twisting together, pulling apart
in dream-winds that rattled the bed and
sent the covers sighing to the floor.

We ran through night woods turning over
giant leaves to look for sleeping dragons
and by the faint light of stars we found still pools
where tigers' eyes met and merged.

It doesn't matter now that you sleep down the road
or across town in another person's bed; or,
it matters to parts of me that have no meaning
at night, when they are shut down

and other parts of me are lit up like neon trees:
dendrites, neurons, cingulate gyrus, amygdala.
They reach and sway, they shift and murmur
their branches moving with the electrical storm

while the rest of me lies heavy, stilled and waveless
pinned like an endangered butterfly under glass.
Only my toe-tips and fingerprints dare
to reach for yours, fluttering across the empty sheets

lips treading the desert of the pillowcase and finding
that ever-present animal, grief, there to comfort me
with what sustenance it has: tears enough
for the morning, water laced with the lovely

tales of the night life, which is, I see now
mine and mine alone.

KB © 4/3/2013


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