It's deep night, damp and sticky with the
residue of southern heat which refuses to
totally dissipate this far into the night.
The night is thick with the voices of insects
and sleepers sweating atop their sheets,
committing sins in their vivid imaginings.
Dreaming, I'm standing by the wide river
wishing I could fly with the breeze through
the trees, the soft, warm, cradling breeze
that comes up from the Mississippi River.
It stirs the boughs of cypress and oak trees
and arouses a wind chime's music somewhere
down the dimly-lit street, while scattering
a newspaper like huge leaves; a wind that smells
of magnolia and dogwood blossoms and
river mud. A full moon casts long shadows
which melt into even darker, yet benign
shadows. The night has compiled its secrets,
mysteries, transgressions; surely that is the
charm of night - it frees the mind to settle not
on what seemed important during the day,
but on the longings kept locked away, hidden
from the disclosing light, struggling to break
free and take wing with this night wind.
Drawing on my memories from Louisiana,
where I lived nearly nine years