Front Porch Night

Something foreign
And familiar
In these night noises.
A steady highway hum
Weaves the circular
Mantra of crickets
And locusts —
Interrupted by
Rubberband bass,
Its beat lengthening
As it recedes.

Bats have been gone
Some three years now,
And despite the drought,
The mosquitoes have found
Enough foothold of water
To become a nuisance,
But it’s okay.
Tonight they don’t want
My bad blood,
And it’s nothing like
As bad as last summer.

Leafed branches reach
Like hands into the streetlight,
And Martha was right —
Someone oughta get a
BB gun and
Take that thing out.
Then I might see
A moon waxing
Toward blue.

Lilting question sings
Through the screen door —
Mama? —
And it’s back upstairs
To review procedure,
And exchange kissing
Hands.
And all she really wants,
Mama,
Is a cold cup of water
And maybe
For you to sing
One more song.

Back on the wicker chair
Or the wooden steps —
A mantra pierced again
By one coyote,
Crying like a banshee —
And you can’t tell
In the dark
That the hydrangeas
Are already as dry
And brown as November.

All these circumstances,
Happenstances,
Decisions careful,
Decisions careless,
Mean you might not
Find a friend.
And if you’re
Going to be
A companion
To yourself,
You have to
Get past
Your grudges
And expectations.

Let go of the deeper
In the darkness.
And don’t forget
The utter nothingness,
The complete everythingness
Of these moments.

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About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

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