I listen to the crickets and hear
the machinery at the bottom of the night.
They are all made in Hong Kong
out of interchangeable parts.
They all rise and fall on the same wave,
the creaking, changeless sea
they made out of sound and the night air.
I don't surprise myself anymore:
a sense of motion but no advance, no shore
in sight other than sleep; and the usual
lines scribbled on the way, the notes
an alchemist hears adrift in the ordinary
with no symbol for the element of surprise.
-- But then to feel your hand instead, palm up
on the bed like a little boat in the dark,
with everything calm for an instant
before out of nowhere all of you lands
on me with a great laugh, a splash of hair.
– Paul Violi