The hour is ground down to diamond dust and table scraps, stars spattering the curtains, moths batting away at the screen. The clock watches while the night holds its breath, the coffee cooling in the cup. The light hums on while the dreams are rearranged, ordered and dismissed by their earnestness and distance. Sleep is out there somewhere, wandering the streets.
Time bundles up despite the heat, savoring each portion, touching every strand. The heart stills and settles, it clambers out the window, it takes the stairs in twos. There is always some beginning in each start, some reflection in every stumble. The close set eyes of empty houses, the incidental glow of automatic lights. Street after street cluttered with garbage and ghosts. The hour always getting later, taking it like a champ.
It is the breadth and the measure, the idea that encloses the mind. The thought that always finds its way home, that stranger our eyes covet and crave. These notions creep through our midnight gleanings, these wishes that stain the walls like years of smoke. It isn't as if I don't learn the lessons. It isn't as if I don't see the signs. Read a little longer before you write me your letters. Wait a little while before you explain it all. The sadness is the shape, the tone, the color. It is the path, but never even close to the point. The aim is the trick that makes the target. The words all waiting, the cross-hairs crisp and still.