After the table has been cleared of its clatter and glass,
it starchy comforts, fattened grudges...
After the toast has been made and the often abandoned God
lured back to preside
over another restive and imperfect feast...
After hours, years, a lifetime of travel,
the precarious balance of weariness and hope
that tossed you up in this moment,
among the pocked and glowing faces
you call your precious own...
After the dark wine has flooded your veins,
and the sacrificial bird been
gleaned of its pale flesh...
After the drone and passion of distant games
have pulled the men to the living room,
and drawn their roar, their deepest sigh...
After the coffee’s been poured around the table
where the women whisper and scoff and slice more pie...
After a sweet smoke on the grass
where the first chill of the season
penetrates your thin sweater, your narrow city shoes
and fills you with half-forgotten longings...
After the phone calls from distant towns,
bland wishes and crackling silences renewed...
Then comes the hour of reckoning: the nap:
the torpor and satiety of twilight,
a blanket pulled from your childhood closet, thick slumber.
This is an hour that is not discrete, its own,
but a distillation of every nap you ever stole
after every heavy meal
when you battled emptiness with bright scenes,
lucid voices, the undeniable rise and fall of gratitude
inside your every breath.