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 four poetry collections. His most recent book, Mechanical Fireflies (2011), received the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize. His first book, Black Tupelo Country (2008), received the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Slate, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, AGNI, and Prairie Schooner.