After Dark

The unused minutes left behind
at day’s end climb
to the ridgeline and take off
into night. They’re gone, no point
in calling them back, they want
to be stars but they’re lost.
Good intentions couldn’t hold them
back, they wanted, wanted
more but floated away on their own.
There was work to do,
a book to read, some closets to explore
for traces of the past
and the novel that was so difficult to write
was easier to leave unread. Tonight
there’ll be regret
at wasted hours, doubt and introspection
and a feeling
of relief. It could have been
a better day, it could
have been much worse. It’s dark now
and the moon’s face shines
in a ring of moths. There’ll be coyotes
down from Heaven and
police cars from Hell sounding their alarms.

David Chorlton is a European who became a longtime resident of Phoenix and has developed an interest in the wildlife of the West. He has a recent book with watercolors and poems featuring the local birds, The Flying Desert. Read other articles by David.