I am a nocturne— that is to say
I’m a thing of the night, nothing
to sing in light because I have none.
Even dying of thirst in its full
pitch, the moon can take nothing
from me with which to glow.
A homeless man with
a sign that reads the end is
upon us— I wish.
Even in Miami,
hearing the car horns of traffic
I long for— yeah right.
I’ve outlasted more gray skies
in this life than I care to count
and I will survive many more—
this I know. It’s the blue that
kills me, that emptiness left
behind after such rain, enough
to float on and float on until
the drops desist, that familiar
blankness returning above,
that familiar stillness surrounds
me and tells me it’s over.
Ariel Francisco is the author of All My Heroes Are Broke (C&R Press, 2017) and Before Snowfall, After Rain (Glass Poetry Press, 2016). Born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents, he completed his MFA at Florida International University in Miami. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, The American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2016, Gulf Coast, Washington Square, and elsewhere. He lives in South Florida (for now).