Under the Covers

Through the night’s silent fog, drifting
at the stem of the islands.
The caller cries a tugboat, in the deep
blackness around the point. Three lights
towing a barge or derelict
boat, when no other eyes but ours,
inured to the darkness, can see it floating.

At length we turn to face the lesser crescent,
presiding between the black shadows of clouds,
like curtains to the night’s stately theatre
(elsewhere, they mass together; darkness
folding in upon darkness. The city will have
no such silent theatre as the moon and fresh stars provide).

Our ferry rushes, unnoticed, through
wet fields of waterfowl nesting on the waves.
At night, the little patches of ocean between
turtle-backed islands, out in the gulf, are
transformed – a home for gulls and silent orcas.

The caller speaks in low tones,
as though the night would awaken
if she broke its vast silence.
Even the foghorn, sounding periodically,
is careful to become the shadow of sound
to prove its absence true.

In this way, we pass the gates, we
make our slow escape, our night
run past the city’s reach.