Night Falling


Night Falling

In Memory of Candy Royalle

What did you see as night was falling?

The vastness of the plains, the grass radiant with its secret knowledge, and then the darkness deepening.

Did the world speak to you as to a shaman?

There are always signs and daemons, but they were no longer for me to speak or sing.

Was it so dark you could not see?

At first there was a moon, shedding its bony light.

Did others hold you?

There were so many—of my own skin and smell and hair and blood—but I alone was being ravaged.

Did you feel the presence of god?

Only love, and the unbearable tragedy of its passing.

Did sleep finally come for you?

The night always comes from within.

And when you woke?

My body was quiet as a beast with its throat cut.

And now?

Can’t you feel it? Life is still longing for us, calling for our poetry, our songs.

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First comes the melding together of steel,
like a modesty curtain.
Then the quaint ding, clinical in its timing.
We stand, suited shoulder to shoulder, boxed in,
absurdly intimate.
The silence that descends is unknown
even in the otherworldly hearing of moths.
Then suddenly it strikes: self-consciousness.
Of course, nothing can be given away, even though
every now and then someone, gauchely, gives in.
We jostle like sheep, the whole process excruciating,
before one or two of us are released.
Their relief can only be theorised.
The doors seal over again, like the mercury surface of a well,
and the rest of us are left, a herd of the living
burdened by the silence of flesh.
How we long for transfiguration.
To be frank, any disappearing trick would do.
There are two symbols, occult triangles up high,
that resemble the Eye of Providence.
One points to heaven, the other to a basement of dust.

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