It comes slowly, creeping around the edge of the day, softening the horizon,
Blunting the edge of the day’s pain and fatigue.
Within the shade of its coming my fire burns red, orange, yellow in a dance of heat and consummation.
Around me the night sounds begin, a thrumming music made by creatures I cannot name,
sopranos on top, deeper bass notes below in a rhythm
nature understands and I accept without question. It is not my song, after all.
Or perhaps it is.
I am the listener, sung to be an invisible choir
hidden in the trees and in the grass and flowers,
Following their own ancient day’s-end ritual that is so familiar
I do not hear unless I remember to listen.
Tonight I listen.
Tonight as summer leans into autumn, as light fades and air chills
this concert is what I need to hear, a reminder of time’s passing,
of loss and love, joy and regret.
I am reminded of you and how it was when we were new together,
sure of who we were and would become.
Time eroded those bright dreams,
carving rivulets in what we thought was true and filling them
With the acid of recrimination and accusation, anger and disappointment.
Yet beneath all of that, we were, were we not?
We were something special, something unique
And as we loved we believed that we could overcome and triumph over any obstacle.
We were strong, we were young; what forces can defy such certainty?
But defiance waned in the everyday wearing away of the shining glamour of us,
And as we clambered through each day we did not see the damage,
the pitting of the armor
That protected us and kept us close, together.
So tonight I sit by the fire and you are not here. I alone listen to the concert of the night.
The music is in me, my song of sorrow and loneliness,
Like the raking of fingernails on a blackboard or the sound of a kiss completed
And dying on the embers of the fire.