A zero sum game,
this desolate hour,
playing thoughts against thoughts
as if sleep was but a battle won
and night not this petrified womb,
from where, stillborn,
I will crawl.
Behold an unruly chorus,
yet how silence beds down still,
like tundra plain Ė cradle
of all that comes to pass
when snuffed the evening glow
takes leave and outside coils
and lies in wait.
The murmur of expressway traffic
(an echo from anotherís dream),
seems closer, stranger than before;
the rumble of a solitary train
that rides unseen through orange-flood streets
to arrive unbidden
upon this hour.
This desolate hour.
When the birds darenít yet sing,
and when soon enough
the flush and groan of heating pipes
shall declare the battle lost,
and the day begin
as it means to go on.