Late Night

Leslie Contreras Schwartz


It's not for sun's slow drown-out
of the world, that melted blanket of too much,
its smoke-like smother and turning up of the world,
its peaks uncovered, everything lit.

It's not this
that I am staying up for. It's too bright
to see things clearly under that eyeing star.
Like a narcissist, the sun only sees itself
in the world reflected.

It is for night's bloom I wait, how it drips
liquid and heavy from lamps,

thick shadow and long-armed branches,
all of it reaching to reveal
the underside, underwater, cenotes.

Nocturnal pools
held still in leaves,

nightcups of hurt and stain
that I need to look at, want to,
how it glistens in me. What flaws,
what missteps have I made and kept

in its thimble-sized dark lake.
Here I will drink in that night,
feel its fluttering moth wings
flapping inside me.

And in the morning, how I am lifted,
like a child whose mother has finally come home,
laid her suitcase on the tile floor. I hear life's
click, that sound of its homecoming,
after a night of watching it melt and warp.

Such an impossible life, a cityfull
of impossible conditions. We are able to
sleep so soundly in this dark,
wake up in the morning like nothing
happened. Let me feel it, the hand of God
making night turn into night into night,
then day.