33/365 - 45/365 || Twelve Nighttime Tanka

Front of the courthouse,
making his proclamations
as Martin Luther,
a grackle shouted his speech
to anyone who would listen.

Spent the day writing
out short poems to anyone—
while you slept turning
over in the fresh halfdark—
murmuring broken phrases.

The cat roams dark rooms,
with you beside me breathing
in the night softly—
unaware I lie awake
staring down at blank pages.

Looking for a poem
reveals a full absence tonight,
an incompleteness,
a richness of nothingness—
as whispers on a dirt path.

Persistent image:
the moon rises yet again
in one of my poems
before the full night descends,
holds me closely in his hands.

From across the room,
the Virgin and Child stare down
from the boundaries
of the wall: nonjudgmental,
yet locked in observation.

Late night ritual:
the cat argues his feelings
from the bedroom floor,
then jumps onto the mattress,
only to leave one more time.

An unfinished poem
waits nearby on the nightstand,
folding itself up
rocking in the window’s draft,
with a resolved impatience.

Four days pass without
murmurs of passing tankas.
Their presence evades
the house skillfully— even
my papers burn with absence.

From the crib he calls—
a litany of new sounds,
each small syllable
from his mouth fractures language—
words change into paper moths.

Left unattended,
the crack in the window grows,
splits out a new path,
creates a hole large enough
for the full moon to slip through—

The bones of the house
settle down in the middle
of this persistent
drought— the lingering dry winds
callout ghosts from all corners.


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