Night Study
Devon Miller-Duggan

Up again late into the night
singing to myself
or not so much as singing,
nothing coming out that’s careful, kind, or graceful,
nothing brutal, either, just the interior amen, amen
to mice among the ivy, crickets,
fireworks someone within a mile or so
shoots off each night at one or one-fifteen,
and trains that wrap the night in warning:
We can’t stop fast enough. Stay off the tracks.
Stay back. We pass. Just wait.

Inside—the soft computer hum, my breath,
two small-voiced cats announcing that they need
to be outside right now, right now, right now.
Downstairs, asleep for hours now, you breathe and dream
and heal from this last surgery
to mend a fraying tissue in your leg.
And I’m up here, awake, not watching over you,
not praying that this be the last thing you need fixed
for some long while, not fretting or remembering
when you were nearly swallowed whole by the infection—
just up again late into the dark, with trains and crickets,
singing my amen into the steady night.



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