Only night knows well the darkness

unknown in a shuttered room

the instant before sleep floods memory,

fragments that blink, unblink

off eyelid scrim glittering into infinity


Today a wheelchair boy strained to push himself

into the string of bodies winding in and out

the supermarket at the strip mall of confusion,

glanced down at the shimmer of my silhouette

quick stepping on the sidewalk beside me


I see again a castaway shoe on the grainy edge

of the highway I drove in early afternoon,

the face of the woman in the next car who turned

to look at treetops along the way twist in the whirl

of a would-be storm and caught me watching her


Tomorrow will never know what I see now

of what light shows in this final glimpse

of her eyes staring back, the troubled forehead

of the boy squinting with his cupped hand

held high to halt the advance of the sun


In this light after light is where I wait

the last flash, the last letting go