my living space 11-11-13
THE NIGHT PARADE
There is a kindness in watching the fires
Coming down the street carried by so many
Men dressed in radiant plumage and terse
Straps wrapped around their body.
They carry the lights high above them
On long poles so they swing to and from
As they go through their series of routines
That mean nothing to us but seem to reflect
A solidarity among these men.
The people without clothing follow in the
Shadowy darks punctuated only by flares from
Lighters used to fire cigarettes. They show lips,
The form of a hairdo, the lurid makeup of evening,
A smear on the mascara the night wears to
Prove it is beautiful. There is so much more.
The dead move through these ranks and files,
Streaming through the air, dangling their shrouds
Behind them, sweeping and looping over our heads,
Silent in their endless forward press to escape dawn.
From the top of the buildings we watch this night
Parade, thinking is must have some profound
Meaning connected to it and discover nothing
Of the kind, just shape shifting and the sound
Of heavy garments against the ground, a dim
But profound gathering that mounts the back of night
To declare its property before all light ceases and
Before the moon can shake free of clouds and rise
With book after book of sweet tales and fears,
Tides and trysts, longing and fulfillment
Learned only in her pale reflected light.