Nocturne

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 3/17/08

Convinced that some other annunciation
Of night might still be possible, the darkness
Rescued a human speaker from the comforting
Clutch of sleep and whispered: “Horizon.”
Sure enough, along a serrated edge of silhouettes —
Trees, mountains, houses, and such —
A perception streamed smoothly upward,
Until, curving overhead with an intensity
Whose concentration is only relieved
Here and there by the punctuations of a few stars,
The word is repeated, but this time, as if
Newborn: “Horizon.” Night has acquired a new
Dimension, in which the domain of darkness
Has been pushed aside in favor of certain
Floating tissues of deep color. Are they
Ultramarines, viridians, maroons? These tissues,
These profound nourishments for the eye, these silks that are,
In this moment, as dear as the brighter confections
Of the day — are they garments? Our new feelings?
Do these moods of satiation and longing, soundlessly
Sliding passed each other, define an inner plane,
Where translucent membranes delineate the antique
Images of dream? Whatever they are, the night
Has made its point, and a difference between
Darkness and darkness has been revealed.
Although, in another instant, when the clutch
Of sleep once more enwraps the speaker,
That difference will again become obscure.

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