On the hour

Marblehead, Mass

At twelve the street, like me, is not asleep,
not yet. Short careful steps stumble along,
a low voice fidgets to itself
some liquored reminder or recrimination.
At one, a flash of lightning in the dark,
a motorbike rumbles away.
At two a racoon, is it, or skunk
drums the garbage bin, something crashes,
something with a tail slinks away.
At three, silent and cool
a breeze lifts the blind, flaps its
broken wing against the window frame.
Four is here and everywhere night’s
low point for the cruel, the brave
and those praying for release.
At five, something fresh wafts upstairs,
unidentified sweet foreign blossom
insinuates into the uncertain morning.
At six, first light enters the room
like an anxious refugee.
At seven I fall asleep.