Blame the Night

by Cameron Lawrence

But first blame the sun for how I worry time,
polishing it like a rabbit’s foot, or a saint’s thumb.

Blame every minute I pour out as liquor from a flask,

small enough to sip, but large enough to sink a city.

For the mornings I rush-hour from you, and split-

second the children with a forehead kiss, exhausting myself

past the sweepers, the café workers unstacking chairs,

—speeding toward money. Blame the afternoon

for everything unfinished, blame the dusk’s erasure.
And later, when you and I loll together in blue flicker,

adding zeros and ones to the sums of our attention

vanished in the blink of a television switched off,

don’t blame the moments we will lose to sleep, 

the incomprehensible landscapes of dreaming.

Don’t blame the numbness of my arm beneath you
for how the years have left us lonesome in the subliminal

tick and hum of clocks. Blame the night not for its darkness,

but for how it ends—its susceptibility to the light.

Cameron Lawrence is a poet and visual artist from Arizona. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Five Points, Poetry Northwest, West Branch, The Florida Review, Image, Wildness, and elsewhere. He keeps busy painting and writing in his home studio in Decatur, Georgia, where he lives with his wife and four young children.

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