Nocturne #1

Vahni Capildeo


Dogs bark, at least a block away.

The night is quiet, with crickets.

Nobody has fired a gun

tonight, I notice, nobody

within earshot. Bougainvillea

grows purple, grows white, festooning

the fence with spikes. Black paint flakes off

electric gates. Birds have peep peep

pipitted their new calls long since,

the close-of-day chirrups picked up

from alarm systems, not long since,

and now perfected. The city

keeps changing where the district lies,

seldom within its lines. The hill

shows a few lights, more than it had.

The Savannah uncoils with walks

unwalked, during a friend’s absence.

I’d fly there now. If I hadn’t

eaten so much salt, I’d fly, now.


Nocturne #2

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