The Place of Night

by Martha Ronk

In a slurry of dark and light, night picks out light not the other way around—
the curvy shadows of branches, the reflective shine, the lull between stem and stem,

leaking into black sorrel undergrowth and with the passing of centuries extra trunks
on redwoods fuse and flow together and branches move horizontally as bridges
from trunk to trunk from limb to limb, and it is dark,

no way to visualize a dark that can’t be seen, memory leeching away as time itself,
dark undercurrents of connections one to another across thresholds, and in the center

how black-suited, how back-turned they all appear late as it is and unusual,
night enclosing and opening as dimly this face and that one finally slide through

fusing with us as we make our way stumbling with the uneven paving
into another time as the interstices of the brain weaken and allow for seepage

we tend to huddle and branch, shedding outer garments as trees shed bark
dropping woolens and jackets in tandem as if agreed upon

the surreal occurring more frequently as I’m nearer the trees that seem to
evoke such nightly disfiguration without the curse of ordinary speech.

Last updated December 07, 2022