She is Asleep

by Christopher Raley

 

The safest feeling is late at night.

She is asleep and the boys are asleep.

Diz and the Count walk slowly back to the land

 

and I would follow for a little longer.

The house fan hums for cool air at last

and the crickets are dim beyond the screen.

 

The safest feeling is late at night with Diz

playing as if the notes are of the hour.

Sidewalks have cooled and lawns

 

have had all that they can drink

for the next day.  My throat recedes

with the cool and my eyes droop down

 

while the Count sits firm on the bench

and his fingers feel for holes in foundation

hidden but sure, unknown but heard when filled.

 

And my eyes droop down because

the safest feeling is late at night

falling asleep in yellow accents of dark.

 

She is unknown and I am unknown,

but the boys will wake to find me.

And she and I will move again to audiences

 

along the breadth of our distance observed.

And we will count up time like loose change

discarded on the nightstand and forgotten.

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