However early it gets dark,
The window candles are too bright
To let me sleep, though I close my eyes
And the midwinter night is all around me
While the candles are lit behind curtains.
If I tried hard enough, it would be morning
When I woke up, a hard cut, abrupt
As if there used to be a commercial airing
After I close my book and before I open
My eyes again to restless, roving day,
The sounds of the house rousing, the house
That will never rise up on its hind legs
And walk off over the hills. We’re settled here,
The house and the candles, me lying in the bed,
Basking in false dichotomy, comfortable
As the heat I’ve thrown off all night,
Caught in blankets, in exhalation.
I like the candles, I like what they mean
In the paned windows, a guide, a welcome
To wanderers, to any someone who needs
To come in, someone who might reveal
They are an angel or a friend. A friend is rare
These days and as precious, as potent as myrrh.
I keep the candles on the windowsills
But I don’t turn them all on, only a few.
Only enough to make any someone wonder if I mean it,
Come in, come in, or whether I just want to sleep.