The last light of the day drained away
like the residue of water in a bath,
the sky declining from cobalt
to an obsidian hue. I look
out of my window at the empty streets,
my eyes sweeping over the lifeless
landscape for a minute or two.
What could possibly enliven this place?
After all, the day fades away, and night
robs the streets of life — yard after yard
of weathered tarmac, extending to the skyline.
This is merely another night:
the moon wanes, the seconds press forward,
marching off with each tick of the clock,
and midnight hovers overhead. Moonlight leaks
through my window, before settling
to a subtle luminescence, an inconspicuous
strand of light, lying across my study’s floor.
The night confronts me with a quietude,
and I wait, hoping for something to break this silence.
The snowfall brushes the landscape white
and birds make faint arcs in the arctic air
before perching on branches
flecked with frost. Dusk paints the day
the color of lilacs, and I think of
that winter when I watched the snow fall
and accumulate into mounds. It was then—
after failing to kill myself for the second time—
that I pledged myself to life — to the scent
of violets and the streets anointed with ice.
The spirit now reflects on the days
spent making marks in my skin with a razor,
each cut a straight line as If I was trying
to tally up the many days spent waiting
for a better time. Those nights when I wandered
around the catacombs of my mind, lost
and with no one in sight, hoarding
whatever shrapnel of light I could rummage
from that bleak landscape.
Now, four seasons removed, as the snow
continues falling, coating the grass,
and the night floods through my window,
I sink into the stillness in my bones. I watch the snow fall.
Alexander Lazarus Wolff is a student at the College of William & Mary. His work has been published or is forthcoming in The Best American Poetry website, The Citron Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, South Florida Poetry Journal, Main Street Rag, Serotonin, and elsewhere. You can find him and more of his work on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wolffalex108/ and on Instagram: @wolffalex108 and http://www.alexanderlazaruswolff.com/