Second World

After the roadside flow dwindles

to a trickle of midnight travelers,

After all the gates close up

leaving only late night gas stations,

After the evening wind darkens and cools

the night’s tentative beads of sweat,

The wordless stories ripen in the

alleyways, bedrooms, and living rooms

that second double meaning that underlines

all our daylight actions—

It begins with the discourse between

night and street, between solitude and clarity.

Thought travels at a different speed

at night, behaves like an animal

more familiar, but untamed;

Desire condenses to the spaces in between

the quiet hum of thoughts repeating

through the vast silence.

Yes, there is no real truth here, except

—perhaps—in the glow of the traffic lights, or

the murmur of a television as you finally manage

sleep.