Friday, February 2

same as every night

As he takes his hat off; as he lifts his head
like if right now he could be any animal he'd
choose coyote; as all the usual sunset colors
break over his face,
he starts up singing again,
same as every night, same song: loneliness
by starlight, miles to go, lay me down by
the cool, etc. — that kind of song, the kind
you'll have heard before, sure, somewhere,
but where was that,
the singer turning this
and that way, as if watching the song itself
— the words to the song — leave him, as he
lets each go, the wind carrying most of it,
some of the words, falling, settling into
instead that larger darkness, where the smaller

darknesses that our lives were lie softly down.

-- Carl Phillips, from "Riding Westward"

this poem

Carl Phillips