Various and Sundry Poetry

up all night

Although I always seem to be the one asking for sex, it's hard for me to crawl into bed with my lover at 10 or 11 p.m. I can come in for a moment, offer a kiss or a caress, but really, for me, the night's just getting started.

It's not that anything of much substance will happen. Maybe a poem will come, some piece of a short story, the beginning of a letter. A dribble of writing, if that.

But oh, how I melt into that silence. The absolute stillness of the house, so quiet I can hear a squirrel outside skimming his cache. So quiet I can make out the slightest echo from the freeway, a big rig muscling its way up north.

At this hour, even the dogs are hushed into sleep, bereft of a reason to keep up their watch for the UPS man or the neighbor's children retrieving an errant football from our front yard.

Soon enough, it is midnight, then 12:30, then 1, then 2. On a good night, I stay awake long enough to greet 3 a.m., and by then I've gone soft completely, my contacts blurring my vision, my brain fuzzy with half-thoughts, my heart pliant and flexible as ever.

And then, when it couldn't possibly get any darker, I ease into bed and listen to the sound of slow and steady breathing. It's not quite a lullaby, but almost.