I fall inward, then out into all manner of peril.
Night crumbles, easy as we fall away from each other.

Tipsy as the branch of the plum tree, I
arch across a corner, forming a wobbly shape.

I weep under the weight of my own blossoms. The sex
gets better as the nights get darker. The nights get darker, the darkness

deeper. I fall asleep and wake to your petals, your muscles, crepuscular.
I am a goatsucker, bugeater, nightjar. Jar of night,

slightly drunk and listening to Vijay Iyer. I am safe enough
to crave a little danger. My love, I weave in and out of you and

cannot find the scissors. Is this why you never put them
back in the drawer? The night sinks your boats. It keeps your secrets.

The nightjar doesn’t build a nest but lays and hatches its eggs on the ground.
Do the eggs roll around? Do the parents trade off their days and nights

watching? Are they just like us? When time was slow, we got to know
the birds deeply. We wondered at their habits and gave them little poems

for names. When their calls woke us up, we did not doubt
the importance of that waking.

More from Ambalila Hemsell:

Intertext,” a poem