Andros Night
by Charles Fishman

for Don Schofield

Darkness came up, so we walked
into town. An old woman had shown us
the short-cut: through the wood that opened
just below the village, along the small turbulence
of the creek — just keep to the path and we'd be safe.
Night settled around us, but we found the road,
and the lights on the coast awoke.

Later, we met other travelers, ate with them
and drank. Simple food, good wine, and talk of home —
what could be sweeter? Someone — perhaps you, my friend —
bought another round. A balalaika played in the distance
and the shore of the island swayed. Sweet fellowship
of the night breeze and the bottle! I think we sang
the anthem of lost brothers.

Then we headed back toward the village and the lights
of the town blew out. We walked slowly upwards,
talked of poetry and love. The stars circled above us.
But the secret path, this night, would remain a secret,
the entrance hidden in the Andros dark. To be truly lost
— that would be romantic! What great poets we would be,
if we could drift between the worlds: poet-angels, whose words
would have the brightness of comets.

But, this night, we were merely lost: the empty white churches
and their cobalt cupolas did not waken, nor did the roadside shrines
glisten as we stepped through starlight, bound to this earthly
plane. Here is where we would labor over our lines and here
we'd caress all we loved. We were lost in Andros night.
We circled upwards. The breeze of an old darkness chilled us.

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