Come Night

I don’t even know why they were there, she says,

               in my ‘ouse, barely takes a breath before

               she goes on

                              I knew ‘em, the two of ‘em

bringing yards of that material

               draping it over the couch

               until it trailed onto the floor a hideous shade

like bandages soaked with betadine

               It was just like the day when I walked

               into the lounge at the office

                              just needed a quick cup

everyone eating their sandwiches

               that crinkle of waxpaper bang of spoons on bowls

felt their eyes through my back

               knew the meaning of invisibility

                              them aligned with Fletcher Christian

                              whether right or wrong

but back to those two: I wanted to remind ‘em

               they were in my house but

they kept talking around their pins and bastings

               as I had some place to be I said as how

they needed to wrap it up, and they laughed

               like I’d said something funny?

Me still standing in front of that white wall

               that led to the back, its doorway tall and pointy

               like a church and that big white clock

                               below the peak some whitewashed Big Ben

its hands showing 9:00 and I thought I could make it

               in a quick twenty, swoop onto the organ bench

                              for the first chords of that Hallelujah piece

and then those big hiccupping sobs the raw panic

I’d needed to be there before 8:30

               and now no chance

pews full of people just sitting there gaping

               at the empty organ bench

                              craning around to peer

                              at the double wooden doors

               their twelve windows

tsks and whispers pounding me

               where I stood rooted

                              heart beating so fast

                              gasping with the knowing

I’d need to text explanations, apologies

               my fingers slickened with tears sliding

                              from the keys

and then some light playing across my face

the stripe of it through the blinds

               and suddenly it’s morning and the day


               yet come night the color hides behind my eyelids

                              those voices clog my ears.