Night is when we say it’s night.
It’s night and we’re in the backyard.
In the backyard we gaze at the slug.
We say the slug slimes the chard.
On a large leaf of chard it makes
a slimy path. We say the path is errant,
like a song getting lost. We say day
is already lost, or night took the colors
of day and poured them onto Asia.
The slug is like a small shiny elephant
without legs, longing for Asia.
Night cannot include day, we say.
That's the law, the final black
that comes after dusk. We say night
cannot love everything. If the slug
loves an elephant and penetrates it,
we say the crow is excluded.
The crow eats trash in the alley
and talks a black speech about not
being loved. We say only the future
loves the crow flying into late summer.
Sometimes August is there, and there
is meat rotting in the heat, meat that
loves the crow. There is the memory
of animals who were recently alive,
a hot sky, lightning without thunder,
and now. Now is a life we live
now, benighted in the backyard,
forgetting that birds exist, because
now there are crickets clashing
in the dying grass. August of
re-enacting famous Civil War battles,
August of forgetting the pain
of benighted heroes. It's the easiest thing
in the world to live during the time
of dying crickets, unless you are
another animal feeling excluded
from the massacre. We say this is how
they chirr in the dark, we say August
is dedicated to the proposition
that all lawns are created, now
we are engaged in a great cricket war,
testing whether that nation, or any nation,
can long endure accumulating dew.
Those who are hurt will be nursed
by their own ghosts. The slug will be
removed from the hole in the elephant
and placed once again on the chard,
to enjoy a slow pleasant death.
We say the chard will be good for dinner,
sautéed in a little white wine.