Poetry by Willie Smith
Usual poor sleep. Drift
downstairs. Step outside
on the porch. Lift, in the 4 a.m. dark, eyes.
Into sight swims the Winter Triangle: Betelgeuse,
Procyon, Sirius; westernmost Belt Star about to –
behind an eave – vanish. Meaning mid-September,
run-up to the equinox; anything dimmer
light-polluted from the vault. An odor of,
soaking the streetlight-riddled night,
both decay and birth – rot rank
with fertility – builds: The Sound – over the hill
behind the house – spelling on the nose
word from the sea between my spine and Japan.
Remind me, I mouth to the Little Dog (breath
on the edge of visibility clouding), to steal a nap,
sometime after dawn, with a dreamlet
of knelt under stars, above the sea, before my
kind ever with fear of the dark heaven choked.