From "Nocturnes" by J.T. Whitehead


Nocturne No. 11

She went to the clinic before the Sun came up, making day, before the protesters came out with the Sun, simple hunters, & not knowing which of those stars had died, so many years before . . .

*

Nocturne No. 12

The Sun paints the rustic patio into a rusty red patina.

The Sun has finally killed the remnant shadows left by Night.

The Sun is the red knight, lancing the black knight.

*

Nocturne No. 16

My son, in his book about nocturnal animals, wrote:

How to live in the Dark? Simple. Rest in the crack of a tree.

Who? Who? Who?

*

Nocturne No. 18.

My lantern runs on batteries. For me it’s a nuclear reactor.

I imagine oil fields on fire, gas at ten dollars, war in Iran or Pakistan.

I write this running the fan, thoughts lighting up dark fears.

*

Nocturne No. 24


The big blank television screen stares out like a squid’s eye.

Cold comes in through the porch screens like a last breath.

Statues of Buddha & Christian crosses amplify notions of reach.

*

Nocturne No. 28


We are not just figures of speech, this long winter,

leaving work – in the dark, coming home – in the dark,

awakening – in the dark.