Nothing on the Radio Tonight
Maybe I’m just a tired man who, unable to sleep,
pulls at the night, twisting it over as if it could cover him.
I try to hum louder than what I can’t help but hear;
the F# staccato of my nerve strings in revolt
the dull C of my arteries and veins,
murmuring their mutinies through my heart.
When this doesn’t work (it never has)
what’s left but to turn outside,
where sirens shatter modesty into fear,
(could they break my question open?)
a pair of sidewalk wanderers call out to nothing,
especially not each other. I believe
they would speak if they could.
Don’t blame the whiskey fog around them.
What they say is what you would say if you were
that lost with no ride coming.
Am I as lost? (No one is coming.)
If the sky were a drum that hammers could tap
out of time, it would sound like this, exactly like this.
And the train scrapes by like a rake pulling glass through gravel.
You’ve heard it before. It’s comfortable now.
The night birds shriek the hardest consonants they can find.
I trip over the K’s, as they drop to the sidewalk.
and the letters remind me of silence.
If you can hear me, sing;
even the smallest song that you can manage,
even if you barely believe it,
if you suspect that someday you might believe it,
even if you lie and laugh about it later, I don’t care.
I will believe whatever comes through your voice.
I have heard my own for too long to feel what it says.