Night comes, hooded, to claim us.
The tide of darkness rises,
gathers us into her skirts,
folds everything into her arms,
the houses, the sleepers in the houses,
the flowers all turned black.
The thickness of the dark
is the thickness of forgetting, of dying.
The light that shines in the darkness, it too is dark,
and perfectly still.
But then night forgets its secrecy,
darkness slips back into itself.
Light wakens slowly in the next room.
Houses come back to us like shadows of shadows,
then smudges, then dark clouds,
then islands rising from the sea, then houses.
The gardens reconstitute themselves,
the flowers each where they were,
the trees in their places.
One by one we rise from the grave of sleep,
wake into our lives again,
and here we are—amazing!—
everything restored again,
the same as it was,
but for some unknowable effect
of having passed through those regions,
of having been brought out.
August 25, 2021