everywhere the noise follows;
ocean-hush, onrush waves speaking
the tide out over the sandbars, small
birds rustling night-thick tree branches,
cars sluicing road-cracks star-deep
in black water-
it's a comfort now; at night from the
window corner the traffic light keeps
its pattern rigid, the sound and quiet of
going someplace its own warming pulse,
unconscious beat in arterial necessity-
but better routine. better a crutch of knowledge.
not long ago it was the unexpected that
settled, stretched itself a funny paradox;
the kids who played with shrapnel and
laughed when it burned their hands, kicking
around a soccer ball made of paper and
poor canvas scraps; he always had gum in
his pocket. never the same flavor. couldn't get it.
no traffic lights, no ocean. he drove his
jeep into a ring of fire once, the radio flickering,
even a half of a song too much for consistency.
he flew home at night and when he woke up,
the hours had gone backwards, still so much
darkness left and time enough to collapse it.
he walks down by the sea when he can't sleep
and the hiss of it foaming up the wettened sand,
the clams breathing out of small buried places,
the plovers piping delicate wisps of sound as they
trawl the spray. this circadian paradise.
the seasons change on time.
at three-fifteen in the morning, day not
dawned, morning intent in chrysalis,
stasis, and the rhythm of circumference
a promise of rotation- he rattles change in
his pocket and buys a cup of coffee-
this light never turns off.