Middle of the Night Moon

Francis Daulerio is the author of If & When We Wake (2015), Please Plant This Book (2018), With a Difference (2020), and JOY (2022). More info at FrancisDaulerio.com.

Image of The Current - The Current
Holy is the thing
on its slow dance across the night,
all chalk-faced and beaming,
filling the bedroom
with its ancient light, and peaking
through all the windows while I toss
over and over and over in the shine,
actually a little pissed
at how not dark tonight's dark is.

And normally I'd welcome
this bright peace,
having spent many a small hour pressed
against the window,
and just last month jostled my wife
awake, shirtless and giddy,
to watch the thing slip behind the earth
and vanish, singing
that Bonnie Tyler song as she burrowed
back beneath her pillows,
slinging groans and slanders
while the moon, too, tucked
itself into shadow.

But, no, this night is different,
up now for hours and begging
to return to the dream where, again,
my pal is singing songs
in some strange place,
[this time a wood-paneled VFW hall
that might also be my grandads's basement]
everyone drunk and bumping around
like moored boats in stormwater,
and at the end of his set
we're all wrecked,
because he has to leave,
because of course he's dead,
and even our dream-selves understand,
blocking the door to keep him longer,
but just before he finally slips
out into the night,
and before I can slip out with him,
my sobbing shakes me
back into this bedroom, though unprepared
for the drenching light that's leaking
through the windows and all over,
making quick work
of brightening all the corners,
holding me alive here,
keeping me awake.

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