Before and After Light

The horizon passes overhead
a blood-rimmed eyelid and
we staffers of the night
gather up behind, slant shadows
spilling from a Trojan dusk
disperse, we spread out.

Unevenly, so that the twinkles
invariably pry through, and the
street lamps find a place to stand
leoparding the glimmer tippled
grays, halting it, blanketing
spangled with light leaks.

We ply the night, shark fins
slice the sea of it, cool bodies
unseen, bump up against the little
glowing beams that stab the load bearing
columns into the strong coffee
of a down hollow—we are enviably
black, defiantly not daylight.

It seems pitiless, this work, this
arthritis of sight, that climbs
up the bone ladders of otherwise decent
afternoons, to deviously withhold it
from those thirsty eyes that
will look at damn near anything
just to be seeing.