Up All Night

up all night, when day comes one doesn’t
belong to it somehow, having traveled
great distance to arrive in a place
materializing for the first time,

or discovering the world has gone on
without you and you’re something of a ghost,
still, there’s a peace in it, the morning with
its birds and garbage trucks, and the usual

sensory disturbances, meteors,
distant fireworks, and that damned noise always
in your head like a world full of June bugs, the
sound of those swamps along the Pascagoula,

like places people have never been or
should not go into, all that ochre mud
and oppressive moss and cypress trees,
you don’t remember fishing, just that

someone caught a gar, but you remember
the boat low and slow and being afraid
to dip your hand in, all those prehistoric
things under that muddy water and on

the banks tiny creatures popping up from
the mud like strange flowers blossoming,
unless you’ve conflated that with another
time and place, South Carolina coast

a host of small crabs erect and waving
as if telling you to go away, the
things one’s mind returns to, though when you get
down to it, you don’t have a memory

for fine detail and suspect other people
invent that lavishment they recall,
while you recollect only flashing
images and feelings words can only

sneak up on and stall the revelation,
now this morning sky and you’re thinking how
you’d like to spend the day just watching clouds,
just watching the way they do, without

thinking they look like anything else,
just trying to look through seeing,
to get clear of seeing, that magnetic
pull to make the world cohere, though of course

one is clear of all of it soon enough,
that wash of feeling one could have been
anywhere but here one is, till letting go
comes upon you more stringently than

hanging on to what anyway—dreams and
expectations, things that seem to have
continuity because they don’t exist–
how panic can feel like exhilaration

as if one has things still to experience
that bring joy, not mere release from sorrow
but something that busts up into the room
with its own kind of glad, how to get

the past to let go of you, you have to
relinquish what it has taken that’s gone,
how now I know you talk to the cats when
you think nobody else is awake.

. . .

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