The Boats Abay

lilac-sky12 February 2017

The air is lilac.  Dusk has come.
Glow-on the lights of the town.
The last light of day whispers its way
through the streets, out across the bay,
and touches to rocking, like cradles, boats,
where languish those slowed by the torpor
of summer.  Hums an almost
silent white noise
of afternoon oozing into evening.

Then,
an empty wooden crate slaps the pavement.
What it held?  For what?
A window slams shut.
The stick holding it up snapped.
Its being raised open, again,
sounds like a ragged cough.
Up one narrow street strolls a youth,
iPhone to his ear,
while down another, another youth, his.

Then all color bleeds to black,
blue awning, green chairs, an umber
wall licked night.  Twinkle-on
lights on the boats, abay.
How violet the water!,
that just was aqua,
now olive black, diamonded
by weak quay lights
that will brighten as night deepens.

A laugh and a shout off one of the boats
are carried back across the water
to the town, a weekend party
begun, that seems to waken
the town, slowly, to revelry,
a revelry night will absorb,
like a blotter fugitive ink.
Sleep will the town the sleep
of an infant, until dawn
buffs bright the eastern rim.

Philip Watson Kuepper
(28 January 2017)

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