Hard night, you’re in my breathing now.
Come with me, since you have no choice,
since you’ve been, in a way, abducted.
Every breath will demonstrate my power.
We move through a forest of crickets.
Their tiny bodies are elderly, arthritic;
they sense the fall already moving in,
who were babies just yesterday,
who were children at dawn. They stiffen
into clothespins. They cling to us:
each one wants to be the passenger
who stays on past his destination.
When I was a baby I was put down
in a bassinet, hard by the airport;
jets arrived from Montreal all night
over our house, where a runway is now.
I despise time that can make a baby elderly,
but aren’t we lucky, you and I,
that it takes longer than one summer?
Night, can you help me to see it that way?
But night, who is ancient, looked on me with pity.
He drew me to his breast like a baby.
He nursed me, then he parted my hair.
My life to him was one day, not even a summer:
he met Annie, then he met our children;
he watched as we fed them and parted their hair.
Then it was night who emerged at dawn, alone—
I stayed behind in the forest of crickets.