Fugue
Old motors gnash the frozen street,
a staccato that perforates, then

tears night from evening,
leaving the irrevocable future

where it’s difficult to say which noises
are the horrible ones, which ones

should go on tapes to help us sleep.
Sleep is difficult—not the act,

the thing, the fact of being severed.
Sleep rests like the lot beneath

the window with its latent touchy
car alarms, though all night

it’s a curled animal without movement
or sense.  Hours accrue

without us in them even though
we are, the way we’re in outer space

without knowing it and the earth
seen from the moon lies down in the dark.

Once, the moon was flawless, smooth
as a newborn’s brain, ice water

pooled in a cave in the woods.
Then Galileo opened his mouth:

clenched stutter of a nail pried loose.
We opened ours too, hungry eaglets

whose nests speckle the cliff-face.
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