/20 Night

Adam Bellefeuil

Black Basin

Time Exposures

When the exposed spirit, busy in daytime,
searches out night, only renewer,
that time plants turn to. The world’s table.
When any single thing’s condemned again.
The changeable spirit finds itself out,
will not employ Saint Death, detective,
does its own hunting, runs at last to night.
Renewer, echo of judgment, morning-source, music.

Dark streets that light invents, one black tree standing,
struck by the street-light stand raw electric green,
allow one man at a time to walk past, plain.
Cities lose size. The earth is field,
and ranging these countries in sunset, we make quiet,
living in springtime, wish for nothing, see
glass bough, invented green, flower-sharp day
crackle into orange and be subdued to night.

The mind propelled by work, reaches its evening:
slick streets, dog-tired, point the way to sleep.

We drive out to the suburbs, bizarre lawns
flicker a moment beside the speeding cars.
Speed haunts our ground, throws counties at us under
night, a black basin always spilling stars.

Muriel Rukeyser