After the dark has leaned in the corner for hours,
the corner of the kitchen where I sat to write,
the notebook opened like a souvenir matchbook
down to its last match, the ashtray on my right;
after the dark has looked for hours from the corner
of her eye, has looked pale, lovely, almost white
under her translucent sheath, her mouth a startling
ruby, her ring catching the history of moonlight;
after the dark has listened for corners in the hours,
has listened for the figure in the formless night,
the ranchera in the blood repeating its black plea
for an inhabitable country out of human sight;
I strike my last match and the dark comes to me.
The flame looks and looks, and then it fails to see.