No music is up to the task
of shifting my loneliness tonight;
no painting or poem will soften
my walls. No dance, no stagework,
no acting, no more to be done
to change any of this.
I will sit instead on the couch
and think about slayings
and oil and erasure.
I will not cry as it will make a sound
and that might become a melody
and that might be an invitation
to community and I
can’t take community tonight.
I am alone tonight; we all
are, in the last analysis, and this
is indeed the last analysis. Millions of us
sitting on couches in silence,
as solitary as once-holy stones
standing in old fields, stones
not making any sound.
Tomorrow we may wake
to wind in the stones,
whistling a new song. We may
choose to dance, we may choose
a pantomime love play
to perform among them,
then march to the palaces
and tear them down while singing
Jericho-loud songs; but tonight
we all sit solo with silence and grief —
and at least for me, alone in my room,
it is exactly what I need
to prepare — a tight evening
of nothing doing. A tight night
of lying in wait. A predawn
full of silent longing. A sunrise leap
out of dreams into our new world.