Tell them the way noises of backyards
are fires you cannot put out the noises
of bombardments shrapnel sharp loud voices
scratching the night. You don’t know where fires
will light up the heavy black sounds exploding.
You end up where you began
in a shelter where you can’t sleep war thuds
electric pathways students coming home 3 am
a barbed wire trail of screams.
Silence has never felt so distant
the preservation of night in the war the night
was full of alarms. Patrols of students
in drunken lurches up the street it hits you in the midriff of sleep.
will descend in the midnight hours
thud thud thud
like Ack Ack guns.
You sit in tense attitudes
as if waiting for the blow. You pick up the phone.
Police. You wait for sudden quiet
like the sound of the All Clear. Your heart over-beats listens in a shell.
Insistent repetitive music the whoops tribal ribald chants
as if they need to bellow
as if they are beasts rounded up by prods of doubt and alcohol.
Paths sweat with leaves
and empty packets of this and that.
for these homes and backyards
the lawn you kept mowing
in the wilderness they’re already dead
with no heartbeat or breath.