Saturday, February 19, 2011

3 am

I've taken some kava kava to help me sleep. When I wake, I realize the sounds have been going on for awhile. Voices and thumping. The upstairs neighbor watching television? His footfall always heavy. A particularly loud thump, then just the voices. Did he going to the window to see people talking on the street below? I get up, don pajama pants, crack the door to see if I can discern the nature of the sound and where it is coming from. I can. The neighbors downstairs are fighting what may be their last fight, though I have never heard them argue before. Her voice is just a sound, but his words are clearly audible. Go then. Just go. We're over. He says her name, which I have not known until this moment. I close and lock the door. Lying in bed, my heart pounds. I take deep breaths. And do not sleep.


We’ve reasons, we have reasons, so we say,
For giving love, and for withholding it.
I who would love must marvel at the way
I know aloneness when I’m holding it

from "Snow Melting" by Gjertrude Schnackenberg.
Read the rest of the poem here: