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P.J. Nights


The phone jingle-jangles. Slow as molasses,
I yawn, uh huh? Pennsylvania 6-5000,
and bring the world in focus with rim glasses,
swim out of sleep like a lethargic hausen.
But itís his voice, that smooth chocolate slide
of trombone asking, do you have the time?
So I creep down from the classier side
in my Imperial Sedan and Iím
ticking, hot as radioistopes,
my legs parting like the V of Churchillís
two fingers in a melt-down wet with hopes,
thinking of his nuclear reactor skills --
Leapin Liz! No heart, but that tin-manís squeeze
makes me plead, swing it for me baby, please.

Songs of the City

Urban nocturne

The shepherd of your sleep,
                                        I gather
each vestigial smile and line of laughter --
the sprawl, then close curve of limbs
as you turn in your dreams.

The city on wings rustles outside our window.
Draped in strings of red pepper lights,
it whispers promises to hold the moon

                     if only I can stay awake.

Behind glass and steel lattice,
I sense the halt of night.

Urban aubade

I open my eyes to find Iíve been cheated of time --
your snores now packed in suitcases,

                                  you in a yellow cab.

In an empty room, a cool washcloth
fights the growing heat,
                                  the absence of your touch

and I wake again to a city that is no longer mine.

I tuck a talisman of the evening before
behind my ear -- the first crystal chord
of a twelve-string guitar -- and with one final
Ďgood morningí at the desk,

                            I'm out on the street.

The little basset walking his owner
is no longer familiar and dear. My throat
closes as wrens refuse to look for crumbs
at my feet, frightened

      by shoes leaking the last sangria skies.

©2002 by P.J. Nights

P.J. Nights lives in coastal Maine and teaches physics and astronomy. Her poetry has been published on Web sites such as ERWA, MiPo, The Green Tricycle, Mind Caviar, Clean Sheets, and Lingerings, and in print in Penumbra, Slow Trains Volume I, and Artemis. She more of her work at her Web site.

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