Night & Day

~ after Armando Valero, "Noche y Dia"

Is the moon a button or a plate, 
or an egg floating on the surface

of a graphite field? Has today's
mail disappeared into a hole

someone has dug around the base
of a tree? Someone's rent is always

due yesterday, last week, last month.
Because the mail was not delivered,

the landlord says he can't be held responsible.
Because the heater in the cold house conked out

the third time this winter, we make a game
of catching the sun's rays in the depths

of a silver dish. When finally we lay down
and fell asleep in our cots after working

in the orchards, did we hear as if in a dream,
voices beneath the window discussing the bad

smell of our cooking and the scalloped
accents patterning our tongue? A storm

is coming and we are in its way. Or a storm 
is flying away over the ocean: because we shine

the light back into its eyes, it flees, shrieking,
shaking the many snakes sprouting from its head. 

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