A Burden of Light
For Tiffany and Evie
At dawn, in light still purple as a bruise,
the dog and I slip out the door and walk
a neighborhood of virgin stillness, his nails
a thousand tiny match-strikes on pavement,
my boots a counterpoint of bass. The sound
unzips the silence as we go, the night
unfolding to a birdsong warble bright
as pain. There is nothing we don’t change.
I shuffle through the leaves and make a scar,
and even if I only stand and watch
as night swings into day, I’ll cast my shadow,
deprive some spot of earth its light. We turn
for home where you both sleep in perfect peace.
I shut the door as softly as I can
then feed the dog and rummage in the fridge.
I’ll tell myself again—step lightly, lightly.