Sometimes in afternoon deep quiet,
between wood-pecks when wind
dies, distant music, maybe from
rocking trees or changing weather,
someone with windows down and
radio volume at which melody blurs
ambience. Maybe mind imposes
substance onto absence, something

I learned late childhood nights when
nightmares left me sweating sheets.
There in the dark, a hum at some far
edge that wasn’t the room’s corner,
the song of slipping through cracks,
of time trailing off life’s dowsed wick
over a spreading wax pool. In these
moments, children gone, wife at work,

my hands empty, I wonder: if the song
listens to us, what kind of instruments
are we? I know the sound of wasps
in the walls. How to hear their chewing
in the dark. How bits of the heart flake
off until all that beats is chamber
without wall and an empty hall
applauds the arrival of instruments.



Andrew Najberg