Night without you, and the dog barking at the silence,
no doubt at what’s in the silence,
a deer perhaps pruning the rhododendron
or that racoon with its brilliant fingers
testing the garbage can lid by the shed.
Night I’ve chosen a book to help me think
about the long that’s in longing, “the space across
which desire reaches.” Night that finally needs music
to quiet the dog and whatever enormous animal
night itself is, appetite without limit.
Since I seem to want to be hurt a little,
it’s Stan Getz and “It Never Entered My Mind,”
and to back him up Johnnie Walker Black
coming down now from the cabinet to sing
of its twelve lonely years in the dark.
Night of small revelations, night of odd comfort.
Starting to love this distance.
Starting to feel how present you are in it.
— Stephen Dunn, Summer Nocturne