calls me rose of neon darkness, calls him-
self early blue evening, black smoke of
sound. Says we are related, you and I,

reminds me we are wandering in the dusk,
our faces a chocolate bar, facing the night
of two moons. And though I’m a lonely little

question mark, he laughs. Life is for the living
with gypsies and sailors. `Til the old junk man
Death plants your toes in the cool swamp mud,

shake your brown feet, honey. Wander through
this living world—get out the lunch box of your
dreams. Stay awake all night with loving or be

a woman in the doorway. Death don’t ring no
doorbells or say here is that sleeping place as if
it were some noble thing. Think how thin and

sharp the moon is tonight. Don’t mind dyin’,
veiling what darkness hides. Haunt like mystery,
like a naked bone in gumbo. Nod at the sun.

Copyright © 2018 by Lynne Thompson. Originally published in New England Review (2018). Used with the permission of the poet.