Peycho Kanev: “After Midnight”

After Midnight

I love this city when darkness falls and takes the houses
hostage until morning.
The night here is different from the night
above the sea, it’s more civilized;
the small streetlamp outside
burns a hole in the flesh of the dark,
murmuring deep in its bones,
cradling it to sleep.
And then I live again;
the books on the shelves, hundreds
and hundreds of them, start to burn, just like this good
twilight in my room deserves,
every word I scribble in my notebook
starts to shine with a starry glow–
think of Van Gogh, think of Hopper–
and even if I drink a glass of water
it feels like it is full of promises for
a certain part of the night emptied of nightmares.
I look out the window and I see
a cab with squeamish passengers sleeping inside,
I see the dozing trees with their leaves
trembling slightly inside the wooden dreams
and I even can hear the music, coming from the sky,
where the night’s scraping on its anthracite
And then I see the first hints of daybreak coming
from the horizon.
That’s why I light a cigarette to force this horrible
darkness to take a step back.


Peycho Kanev is the author of 6 poetry collections and three chapbooks, published in the USA and Europe. His poems have appeared in many literary magazines, such as: Rattle, Poetry QuarterlyEvergreen Review, Front Porch Review, Hawaii Review, Barrow Street, Sheepshead ReviewOff the Coast, The Adirondack Review, Sierra Nevada Review, The Cleveland Review, and many others. His new chapbook titled Under Half-Empty Heaven was published in 2019 by Grey Book Press.

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