On Reading Pablo Neruda

This is not a new poem, but one that I think speaks well to a certain late night feeling of loneliness and introspection and one I could well have written very recently.

On Reading Pablo Neruda

Late at night, rain streaks the window,
wet streets glisten in the headlights of passing cars.

The house is silent except for your breathing.

You’ve been reading Neruda and are filled
with the ocean and the drowned, uplifting arm,
the wind trading blows with the rain.

The darkness is palpable and boundless,
a companion offering the gift of solitude
and the certainty of loss.

Dear reader, stop wherever you are, whatever
you are doing and imagine
a cold night, late autumn —
You are sleepless, alone
in a quiet house with soft rain falling.
You gaze out the window into centuries
of night and storm.

Maybe the voice of someone lost to you years ago
whispers at your side,
maybe, within your chest, a flight of loons,
the beating of your own dead father’s heart.


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