If I were a song, I’d come up

at sunset onto the porch.

Occupy the rocker. Crack

the digits, knuckle by knuckle.

Smooth my lap, eying

the evening star touch your heart.

Wouldn’t stick around long.

Back and forth, forth and back,

slow enough to sip from the fifth; between

wobbling to the mosquito, the swallow,

the bat, hoops of smoke. Just as

the fireflies begin in chartreuse to spell your name,

and the June bugs pop their noses against the screen,

I’d go with the indigo dying to go black,

where the stars and the crickets elbow the melody out,

but not before the rhythm sets up echoes

of sweet, of nothing, of nothing sweet at all;

and the worm of a foot impossibly falling writhes.

I’d tithe the ear, tax the step, the better

to pay the night back with all the savings of death.

Willie Smith

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