imageJust Before
Rochelle Nameroff

Just before the crickets
     start their jawing.
          And before the sudden

rake of trees along the glass,
     and before the sadness.
          Just now I give in

to the listening. Not to you
     with the TV on high
          and your long legs stretched

upon the couch.
     Or to the downstairs
          and the shutting of doors,

that impromptu song of marriage.
     Still I admire it, sung as it is,
          loud inside a world of indifference.

So I listen to the whirr
     of the new electric fan, aimed
          at my legs with precision,

its whispers up and down,
     its modest delicate slaps.
          The night is still there

out the window,
     and the night air also—
          sweet conductor—

filled with disturbing
     urgencies of noise.
          First the radio and its jackhammer

boasts, then a car like a sneer
     around the corner. Gone.
          Somebody else's love, some

lovely stranger's love,
     might take off
          just like that, with a window open,

a bare arm hugging the
     scratched red door, and
          two lonely bars of a love

gone someplace

Top of page.