1           Early Evening


Nothing sadder

than the cry of cicadas


coming from their trees.

I saw your silhouette

standing between the bushes

the length of your kind shadow

hovering in the alley:

the light was dim, the sounds

were far, dinner was being made.

A twenty-something cycles past,

“I will be there soon.”

Touch my soul


the way you’d lower

our laundry over the line.



2           Noon is Night


Yesterday we drove

to a dark part of town

where night is noon, and noon is night

and our only light


a window. The streets were

un-peopled, and so were

the pavements: nobody

was caught smoking, beneath the shade

of the awning, and the birds

were quieter


than the trees. Only one window

had been lit at all, four squares

of amber, warm in the hour:

a stranger was changing, naked and

smiling, she wanted to see

her skin in the evening

and how her dress

would look in the lamplight.



3           Migration


Foxes. The secret dens

of foxes, the smells and paths

inside the crack inside

the ice, right down

the river and up left

the pines. Example,

preamble, bower me

an apple, and there the way

to you.


And now time post-haste,

pre- and pro-

immediate: Eng Bee on

a boat, Boon Keng on

a plane. There is night time in

the lungs of frogs, in

the hollow of a tree,

dreamer blueing

creamer thinging,

erotic neurotic thank you

my baby, right down

the river, up left

the plain. And here:


prudence in

a glass vial, a bird dead

in its nest: the algae

of the canal, the pad of

a lily: him in a jar and

her on the table, ready for

our supper time.



4           Goodnight, Sarah, Goodnight


We were all nearing

the end of the day, the

summer rains abating.

From the ground wafts the smell

of mud mixed with water. I shall drift

and reuse these lines

for future, better poems. For brighter

and newer places. “I’ll meet you in

some further place, I’ll see you in

the summer.” But nothing

could be worse. (He laughs and sings and

calls and says, “I’ll see you in your dreams,”

and nothing could be worse.) Good day,

my Sarah, and good evening. I’ll meet you at

the corner, I’ll see you in

the summertime.


5           Coda


Every evening the stirring of leaves.

Every evening the staying of the sun somewhere in

the sky, “I’m surprised it hasn’t set yet.” Every evening

the pushing of the hour and the staying of the day.

I suppose this is how it works: the gears begin

to loosen their teeth, and all I can offer

is surprise, and the love that I’ll leave

with you. You are the corner

where the light does not shine, and the moss

quietly grows.