4:13 am

The shift of sleepwalks and suicides.
The occasion of owls and a demi-lune fog.
Even God has nodded off

And won't be taking prayers til ten.
Ad interim, you put them on.
As if your wants could keep you warm.

As if. You say your shibboleths.
You thumb your beads. You scry the glass.
Night creeps to its precipice

And the broken rim of reason breaks
Again. An obsidian sky betrays you.
Every serrate shadow flays you.

Soon enough, the crow will caw.
The cock will crow. The door will close.
(He isn't coming back, you know.)

And so wee, wet hours of grief relent.
In thirty years you might forget
Precisely how tonight's pain felt.

And in whose black house you dwelt.

More Poems by Jill Alexander Essbaum