Children of Unending Night

by Steven Bolia

If you travel at night you are sure to meet a ghost, sooner or later.
-- A Vietnamese Proverb

Night does not necessarily
Hold evil pretensions --
Just the cold piercing silence
Not unlike the morbid equality offered in death
This balmy indifference weighs
Into the night air like water.
Come to its shores
And feel the waxy sheath
Of the serpent's tail
As it slips between your ankles
Like the foam of murky waters
Drawn in by the tide and out again --
Only real with the night.
But be sure to remain dry at its borders
For not even the suicidal rat

Considers a union with this realm
Illusion is night's game
And for a price it delivers --
Hear the sound of the Serpent
Over the sand and through the grass
Like the hiss of the oven
It is the uneasy calm
Before the storm of breaking glass.
As windows that once separated
Mirror from mirror, shatter
And the spirits that darkness once concealed
Leap from shadows and dart
From space to space between us --
No longer an image in our peripheral vision
Soon they form their secret societies
And use their invisibility to undermine our world --
No longer satisfied with being undefined images
Behind gossamer and tulle --
They are the children of unending night
And like shadow people clamor in that
Dark reflection for some sense
Of the equality that exists
Between you and me,
But yearn for the day
When they will do without us.