Plain Lights

Do they care, the first stars,

how I drowned in them?


I am watching the lights of a plane winging overhead on this first cool night of September and the pen and notebook lay heavy in my lap. I want to say something, but I feel like the bulb in the sconce above my door which has gone dark, which is no longer even flickering, which is not even hinting at light.

Besides planes, there are other things winging in this night sky. On the patio, the small night bugs make a fine haze as they fly towards the light on the garage, which sometimes sizzles as their bodies make contact, and I think that some part of me is like this, something small, burning myself out on the edges of things, the needs of work, the needs of child, burning myself out on the wants of other people.

What I want, I am no good at naming. Or, to be more precise, what I want I am only good at naming here, beneath the blue black night sky with only the toads and insects for company. What I need, is sleep. But I am stuck watching these planes as if they are some kind of transient stars that might never cross my path again, as if the steadily blinking lights on their wings are a kind of code I could unravel, as if it were a language, that, should I suddenly become able to speak it, suddenly be able to shape the words of the plane’s tongue, I would find my own tongue freed too.

The lights on the plane’s underbelly are red and white; they pulse with the regularity of the lights I string on my tree each Christmas; they have the same oddly hypnotic effect as those ones do when watched in a similar dark. In the end, such plain lights for all the weight my sleepy mind has given them. Not even ordinary stars, just a warning that someone elsewhere will have learned to read.

One thought on “Plain Lights

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