At Midnight

Isn’t it the heat, or the graveyard tunes, or the aircon hums,
or the nocturnes of the neighbor’s owl that keep the bed awake?
Or the creepy cream-colored curtains waving like ghosts

against the doldrums, trying to amuse the casualty of dreary waiting;
these droopy eyes, these heavy bags behind the spectacles—
and all the yawns and spiritual yanks, the game on the screen:
dead witnesses to the silent cries of midnight, disturbing roommates
with constant breaking of slumber—rest—if that’s what they call it.
The body: chest complains burning sensation, arms glacial cold,
tongue unable to taste, member weak to give off itself.
Ora pro nobis: let the midnight be midnight, the day, day.
The black cat stealthily trailing the gutter: an omen feared,
a sinister vestige, a shadow proclaiming lonely darkness,
a sanity-shattering dismally-felt solitary sense
of breath-taking suspension of the closing of the eyes;
it trots quietly into the night, teasing the observant emotion
into a great envy, for, from attachments, it lives nine freedoms.
The window, waiting, inviting—remains dull, lifeless—
that it has not yet framed within its pane what it longs for;
its soul seeks for a certain figure, the sole wish of its existence,
it waits, waits, waits, until its glass grows icy, smoky, almost broken.
The door sings plain songs with the temporary-sounding creaks of its tired hinges,
its chants permit the forbidden delirious dance, the ritual of desiring,
the Mass of the saintly demon of wanting, and yet still, it hungers
continually, it despairs for that particular palm to turn its knob.
The ceiling, appearing too high, is the adapted child of infinity,
the alternate to the chill of the centering sky outside,
falsely bluish-black, sadly shedding tears of stars, different colors,
deeply aching; the midnight hasn’t returned what it holds dear.
The mind, encumbered in endless restlessness, talks the soul
to the unfounded quietness, to the utterly rushed decision to cry,
without words, the sacred name of the one it encloses all the time.
And the floor—inanimate and plain—gathers all the remaining strength
of the late brightness, waiting, waiting too, for the affection of the boots
that it hopes would soon touch its cheeks, its lips, kiss it passionately;
intending to sacrifice, to generously bare its very skin to be caressed
even by the very asphalt and the earth the one waited would bring.


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