It’s Walpurgisnacht here in Germany,
the night the witches take Brocken, night of bassoons
in the concert halls, and sirens
and heat lightning flashing in the clouds.
You watch from your garden
which sits amid a canyon of dim and oddly-shaped
pre-war buildings. You watch while listening
to the people in the buildings murmuring, banging pots,
playing old jazz songs. Every five minutes or so, the clouds blossom
with fire, glowing and throbbing, revealing their shapes.

And now it’s dark. Only the lights
in the buildings gleam,
the reddish-gold glow of the rooms spilling over
the balconies and onto the walls.

A shadow moves behind a thin, luminescent curtain.
Another one appears. You watch them tango and whirl
as loneliness, that hissing serpent
with red eyes, enters the garden, slithering
through a bed of flowers and up the tree, coiling
around a limb just over you.

But now the light of the room goes out,
now the shadows disappear, and fat luminous insects
take the air, swarming the pollen
and the pollen exploding from its pods,
glittering as a wave of hot sulphurous breath
hits your shoulder. You turn around, the serpent is gone.
Your loneliness abates and soon becomes
love for the wind, for the leaves, for orange peels
and elevators, a love of solitude, love for the inviolable
flower someone planted in your chest,
for the miracle of being alive and on the earth on this night,
Cherubim blowing their horns from upon
fire-lit clouds.


8 thoughts on “Walpurgisnacht

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