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.