"Midnight Comes In My Window"

Midnight is something of a relgious entity. That sentence can be parsed in a couple of different ways, and all are applicable to this poem.

Midnight comes in my window. And this is the story I tell. Midnight comes in my window, Sneaks right up beside me. Sneaks up right near me, Beside me, two foot back And a little to the right. Sneaks up beside me And all the while, mists up like rain, Falls down like rain. Asks me to touch the garment's hem. Like a drizzle of rain. And I smile, ironically sad, it all in place. And I write it all the way... Asks me to be whole. A grey little rain, Just a taste of pine, a hint of That old South, the long hallway of tress Down that highway that we all grew up Along. Down that old lightless highway, Blacktop and faded yellow lines With the kudzu out there all the time. A hint of pine At the tip of the tongue, back of the nose Out the corner of the eye. A grey little rain. I watch. It beads up, breaks up, flows again. I watch the flow and I watch it Grow, Leafy and green, There, in that forest of stars, A copse of night clouds. Childhood memories of church pews sticking To the back of my throat, A catch. A hymnal red and fine, Like the bottle of old grape juice, Bound to be the Lord On that communion day. My imagination runs rampant, My inside is changed. Irrevocably. I'll think about sculpting a new face, Make it out of Alabama red clay. Ain't it going to be a beaut? I'll sculpt me a new face. So have Mercy on me, Down by the river, today, Oh, yes, ain't it going to be a beaut? Won't you say? Let's go down to the well, And see what face you will wear on me today. Won't you play? I finally say, days into the night Passing around me: "Midnight, sit on down! Sit down like a hint of grey little pine tree rain." I say, keeping quiet but loud. I say, "Take a load off." "Rest those old toes!" I wipe a seat, try to brush off the rain. And he smiles it all away, Teethy and pleasantly dark, Waiting as I wash his feet with my years, With my years away. Though my hands tremble. Man ain't he a beaut? We drink beers, black and deep, And tell stories of wine for weeks. I introduce him To the back of my dreams And he laughs For hours. I say, "Midnight, it's been a long time But I know just what you are going to say." I say, "Midnight, it's been such a long time, But just hush your mouth." I say, "Let's just let the quiet be loud." For hours, and hours.

This poem written by W. Doug Bolden.

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