Night Drafts

Polite, intent, no fooling this time, because blasphemy
Doesn't follow Him, but the other way around. How
The silence of churches at bedtime can brighten a day,
A soul's day. How Barbie and Ken dolls from memory 
Can lighten a day, even as the bad boats from upriver
Go down river, since that's what they do, move at the speed
We speak of with sublime direction. Don't listen too closely
To the thwack of halyards, don't point in the direction
Of home, when you figure out where that is. The true
Voice that is calling is guttural, lifted from graffiti
Off the walls or snippets of news that nip at your heels
As you rip bread and bless the pigeons. Gosh, onions
Or rhubarb should come to mind at a time like this,
But like the rest of us non-believers you're guilty,
Except for the sanctum of late night radio which winds
Around you like a childhood scarf, the one that was burned
Or snatched away by an older sister. Everything is happy
couched in sadness, or the other way around. The smell
Of pavement after summer rain means something
Significant though you're not sure what. These holding
Patterns we find ourselves in are guaranteed to leave us
Feeling outside of our kitchen quarrel. You never get over
The kitchen quarrel you weren't a part of but settled in,
Like an ice house on a frozen lake. No matter. The radio
Says everything melts by degrees, even you, if you care,
So the ordinary life you lead is ordinary, maybe less,
Maybe more if you light candles, or classy cigarettes
For that matter. Maybe you would like to be Russian,
Maybe the Canadian boat person on the St. Lawrence River,
Maybe just the whoosh of the air as it passed through
The tunnel after the rush-hour subway. You're human, you know,
Like the rest of us, you're stuck with that. Own up to it.

Copyright © 2011 by Tony Sanders. Used with permission of the author.