Westwind

Nights and Days

Cody Koester

 

If on some slow night in May you lay awake late

in age, and the warm hum of June bugs in the air

has stirred your mind, take from the shelf that soft blue book

which once had held you by its verse when light in youth.

 

Retrace the margin notes you scribed upon the page

one distant day— a word, a line, perhaps a sound

you knew from somewhere deep inside, as when alone

one senses someone’s presence in the room, unseen.

 

Realizing, uncensored, you whispered faintly yes,

as when someone taught you how to read, really read,

decanting all they knew into you. And recall

when one evening, dripping honey-gold, you took in

 

all the day, the way you bent at bougainvillea

brilliant pink along the hedgerow, watched the magic

jacaranda flower full and fall in trailing

skirts of purple on the floor, such luminescence,

 

understanding then that all this will come to pass—

the fire in your eyes flashed forward in one mystic

instant, a mere blink glimpsing temples having turned

to ash, when one night close to dawn you’d lie awake

 

noting catbird mews in dogwood boughs and smile,

laugh, knowing there could never be another way,

that one is always going nowhere fast, that night

is always giving way to days that bound away,

 

as yesterday becomes today, and today was

once tomorrow, and then when one day,

somehow, tomorrow became yesterday.

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