(Robert Stemler/Unsplash)

I wake at five a.m. to find all the streetlights
In the neighborhood flashing.
There is no explanation. No one else sees it,
I have no one to share it with.

It is so hard to improvise a home
And make sure yourself is yourself.
Doo-wop floats through the window
Like blue cotton from another world.

My mind is on such intimate terms with tension
It does not know what to do with peace.
The darkness isn’t a plot device: it’s just there.
But the light is also. I don’t understand it either.

My love is a river running soul deep! sing the Box Tops,
And I must not scoff at them for telling the truth.

Jeff Fallis’s poems and essays have appeared in the Oxford American, Ploughshares, the American Poetry Review, B O D Y, James Baldwin Review, the Iowa Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Athens, Georgia, and teaches at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

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Published in the September 2022 issue: View Contents
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