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It’s That Time

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The silence of night hours
is never really silent.
You hear the air,
even when it doesn’t stir.
It’s a memory of the day.
Nothing stirs. Memory lags.
No traffic hushing up
and down tricky hills
among the camphor trees.

No foghorns, no streetcars’
shrilling phantoms before
they emerge from tunnels.
These absences keep us alert.
No rain or street voices,
nobody calling to someone else,
Hannah, you walk the dog
tonight yet or what?

Only certain things to hear:
The sexy shifting of trees,
the refrigerator buzzing
while Cherubino sings
the best of love is enthusiasm’s
intense abandon, a voice
in song that preys on no one
and is unconscious of its joy.

Source: Poetry (April 2011)

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

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It’s That Time

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