The crickets are working the night shift. The moon is face down like a Joker. Was that an owl? Maybe it was the clock, forgetting it was a clock. The children are asleep, soft toys at their sides, the day like a carnival ride in their dreams. My two cats will not settle. They scram and break dance on the floor. A moth flutters for the safety of a corner light. The crickets go into overdrive. A blueberry and peach cake cools on a wire rack. The overhead fan whirrs for the day that’s passed it by. Somewhere in the sky, a bat loops and skirrs out of sight. If I switch on the outside lights, all I ever see are shadows reaching back towards the dark woods. Car headlights swerve around the bend and beat it down the hill like hounds. There’s no sign of the neighbourhood fox. Maybe he’s hunting. Maybe he’s curled up in a bundle of ferns, trotting to a faery realm in his dreams. If I really listen, I can jut make out the sea’s soft susurration. It wants the moon so badly on its watery back, it cries against the rocks and seaweed. A bonfire spits and pops across the way. The sea is a memory to the people roasting marshmallows like clouds from high noon on long sticks. This is night. It might get longer if I stick around.

Here’s one of my favourite bands, the Stranglers.


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