Eric Stiefel

Interrupted in the Night

We were balanced on a tight wire,

                                                                          but it was also

as if I’d called her from a séance or a dream, where a spider

could be the afterbody

                                                to the part of oneself that tried to follow

the moon.  Crawling across

                                                         the surface with a silver sheen.

You’re there and then that, she said, motioning off

between me  

                           and the mechanical dark.  Legs tangled

like clockwork.  A pair

                                                 of dead lilies on the nightstand.

Just two.  

                     Rose dressed like an acrobat in dim light.

We locked the window twice,

                                                             then another time for safe-

keeping.  Inside,

                                             the pattern we made with a dozen candles,

which was one way of trying to figure out

                                                                                         one’s life.   It’s lovely, isn’t it?

That’s what they say,

                                                    huddled together in the night.  They say,

There, there—isn’t it lovely holding the whole world in a glass?