There are the arcane sounds
best discovered after dusk, flushed,
like earthworms from the porous ground
by the dark—as if a black rain fell in sheet
to wrap the supine body of each day.
Walk with ears
down those listening sidewalks,
not a muscle stirred
and you might hear them:
a red eye’s drone
wheels’ rubber shrieks
or the seething of the air itself.
Wait for the dreamer’s expression
if you lie next to another;
the cadence in their breath,
the fitful murmurs,
the roll and doze
the conversations overheard
between chemical and memory
voiced as if by alter egos.
These are the things we could never learn
unless you, or I, or they
eavesdrop on the unconscious.
Not only old age burns and raves
as Thomas said,
but so too does the wakened, seething night
pacing at your other side
angry at how little attention it commands.
On a short drive as I rode passenger
August 24, 2015
Painting: Moonlit Night
Ivan Aivazovsky 1817-1900
Oil on canvas, 1849