Come, night. Shake out your cloak of stars
as the green edges into blue
and distance sleeps under silver
and shadow. Come night! Tarry not.
The owls howl wild, their wings silent
over the bending of the grass.
Hungry paws pad last year’s leaves, watch!
And wait, and wait. A nose twitching
the plume of a red tail hidden,
a mercenary’s crest. Come night!
Hunter and hunted waltz, lovers
close in a dance that spans all life.
But come inside, then, for a spell.
The candles gutter, pool their wax
in the dish. Feet tangle the sheets
and fingers weave and dance slow, close,
to the rattle of katydids
and the fiddle of the crickets
the drums of frogs plucked from lilies
in the pond that mirrors the moon.
Midnight is the time for lovers
and philosophers, for mothers
looking in from the door frame, for
fathers standing guard against dreams,
for stargazers marking a course
so vast that flesh loses meaning
and mountains crumble into dust.
The sleepers sit out the wonder.
Over the blown roses, then, look:
Night dances, an art of beauty
and slaughter, veiled in the hidden
then stolen by the greedy dawn.