Night Song
Doug Ramspeck

Night Song

Our plowed field is smoke dark and negotiating,
a deep gravity settling in amid the trees.

There should be more than this, or less.
And so we watch the young lovers climbing

from their car with a blanket, starting across
the dark field toward the river, the sky rolling back

its eye to expose the moon. Often we see them
after dark, moving past the hawthorns colonizing

the field’s verge, the waxy fruit dropping to the earth
beyond the fence. Here are the hours at play,

the way you hear your name in a dream, though
whoever is calling is far away, like falling into

a well. And always the moon is manifold above us,
timeless but forgetful beside the glassy-eyed,

prosthetic stars, dumb as embers, this bed
of darkness rolling out from the heavens,

vacuous and sleeping, bruised and forgetful.
Come morning the car and the lovers will have

vanished, leaving only dust rising from the bar ditches,
moving in swirls and eddies: this commotion

the way a river carves into the body of the mud,
gathering loam and carrying it downstream.

Doug Ramspeck

is the author of six poetry collections and one collection of short stories. His most recent book, Black Flowers, is forthcoming from LSU Press. His poems have appeared in journals that include The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Slate, and The Georgia Review. His short story collection, The Owl That Carries Us Away, is published by BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City).