night truths


For J. in sleeplessness

Night Truths
Stephen Dunn
I’ve known an edginess, come evening,
when I haven’t chosen to be alone, but am,
the necessity of music, the implacable silence
of the telephone, when my faith is faith
in the provisional, wild, no consolation
in it, and deeply, late at night, in the
peaty, musk-scented, moon-driven dark
I’ve felt so singular,
so importantly sorry for myself,
or so exquisitely stilled, attuned,
that I knew there were night truths
unavailable to lovers or the loved,
though I might be close to them,
and have put off sleep because sleep
is social, intrusive, all the uninvited
waiting to make their appearances, put it off
until it came for me, ignorantly, persuasive.

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