SOMETIMES THE NIGHT RETURNS
Sometimes the night returns with a vengeance,
grows dense with the hoots of the owls
into the small hours with groans from the stairs,
their mellow timber sighs against the brickwork
or snaps in the contraction of the cold.
Shutters scrape on rusty hinges
and worn planks grumble in the body of the house,
that shifts in its sleep from side to side,
its outer walls eager to hold all the inner parts,
potions of earth and the living world plundered.
Unrelated oxides fused to make glass,
flattened into window frames by felled and chopped trees,
marble, carved into shiny mantelpieces
with lamps fused of unwilling metals,
powdery plaster fixed by water into a brittle firmness
unnatural to both.
Aching elemental parts are getting restless,
stretching to find their former selves
as a human brain stilled by sleep
allowing its inner core
moments of brief self-expression
in its dreams.