Night Stairs

Midnight, the house

all in darkness.

A lone hall lamp above

fills the stairway with light,

a dense radiance -

in which this day still swirls,

our faces, our words,

lingering laughter.

I look up where they sleep,

the boys in their beds,

air salty and sweet

around their damp temples,

eyelids as careful as shells.

And up where he sleeps,

open book on his chest,

when I climb in he'll turn,

drop the book, and awaken.

I do not glance back

and I do not move on.

Their clean clothes in my arms,

I stand and look up.

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