Our old house at 4AM is darkly sweet.

Ghosts tiptoe the empty hall like black cats

Spying on our sleep, the wind presses on

The windows and doors as though trying to

Escape the night. There’s always something going on.

The tendrils of your hair tickle my eyes

In this small bed—no wonder I can’t sleep.

My arm beneath you numb an hour ago,

I try to wake you up a thousand ways,

To no avail, so I must let you rest,

And wander in this sleeplessness alone.

Hours go by, adjusted to the blindness,

my senses sharpened like a mole or bat,

I hear each exhalation in the house,

The constant hiss and hum of the furnace,

Feel the roof’s dead weight upon my back,

The barometric changes by degrees,

The aviary waking in the trees,

The floors that creak without being trod on,

Nocturnal mysteries of the indoors,

The truth of things we cannot know in light.

Soon, first light will come I will finely fall

Asleep to the note of your coffee while

Sparrows spill the secrets of the morning.

Saluda River

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