There are times I have to remind myself
that a bridge is a way to travel over water
not a diving board for suicides. That airports

aren’t just places for departures, but places
for arrivals, and hospitals aren’t only
where we go to die, but where we’re born.

I’d like to think not a single bomb
was dropped on anyone today, not a single
person was diagnosed with cancer.

Somewhere someone misses you.
A friend remembers something
you once said. Somewhere someone

thinks you’re beautiful. A man holds
a guitar in his hands. A couple dances behind
the living room couch mouthing words

they’ve longed to share with each other.
At this hour only astronomers
and insomniacs find natural,

as the blazing red lights of an ambulance
flicker fear past the window,
I have to remind myself:

it doesn’t always mean somebody’s
dying in there, sometimes it means
somebody’s being saved.

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CLINT MARGRAVE is the author of Salute the Wreckage (2016) and The Early Death of Men (2012), both published by NYQ Books. His stories and poems have also appeared in The New York Quarterly, Rattle, Cimarron Review, Word Riot, 3AM, Bartleby Snopes, decomP, Ambit (UK), as well as in the recent LA Fiction Anthology: Southland Stories by Southland Writers by Red Hen Press. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

2 responses to “Sing at Unnatural Hours in the Presence of Artificial Light”

  1. Fred Voss says:

    Fine poem, Clint. Those insomniac hours are hard on all of us. And I guess it’s true, there is good and bad everywhere.

  2. For me I live near a busy street. I like to look out and think dozens of people safely manage to not hit each other driving at high speed two tonne automobiles. The noise of traffic is my calmness.

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