IN PRAISE OF SOLITUDE

How do I put this kindly? I like to be left alone.
Scratch like, replace with need. Not because
I adore you or this world any less than entirely, but
because sometimes the only way I can find peace
is 9 o’clock on a Saturday evening, door left ajar,
the moon resembling a half-eaten rotten apple
hanging in a starless sky. I feel magically
insignificant in the stillness of this moment.
Like anything can happen, maybe even poetry.
Through the window and across the street,
a human figure leans against a kitchen wall,
balancing phone between tilted head and shoulder.
Man or woman, it hardly matters. And outside
this bedroom door, familiar voices wax and wane,
lilting conversation between brothers and friends.
I am a distant planet that cannot discern what
is being said, what universe they’re in, what is
being debated and spun around and laughed about.

It is not that I do not love them. I do. But tonight
I am keeping company with a world of my own
invention: an empty bed, a strange-faced moon,
the anonymous neighbor, the mind at work.
And poetry might not arrive tonight, but at least
I gave it permission. I open my heart to silence.

Come in. I’ve made space for you.
Fill my world, why don’t you?

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