Thursday, November 18, 2021

Brilliance in the Middle of the Night

Poem Day 18--

Brilliance in the Middle of the Night

Does one ever tire of stepping off
the ledge of the balcony
or the sidewalk curb, narrowly

missing the passing Chevy Lumina,
once dented by a six-year-old bike
with training wheels. Surely,

my mother would disapprove
of my expense account, chuck full
of lunches at the Lariat

and always the extra at the end—
the lemon meringue or the cinnamon apple
a la mode. Isn't it

a shame to dip chocolates
on a Friday night only to be awakened
in the middle of the night—

something about a cavorting appendix
and three incisions to suck out
the inflamed organ, no good in or out

but death to a pig without one.
I find it odd to listen
on quiet nights, straining to hear stars

fall from grace or see
one streak across the sky.
Surely they know better than to burst

and die like my daughter's appendix
on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Surely
they understood the consequences

of light, a burst, a fading slowly
into the universe, the ultimate loss
of innocence and brilliance, sometimes
simultaneous and the love-struck kid

who names it for the girl in third period
who thinks of him only as the brainiac
with the best notes and homework.

Why couldn't it just fade over time,
lessening the blow and the sudden hole to fill
by darkness and slight twist of the telescope?

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