Sunday Poem


I have seen many red nights and purple
evenings taut with cold and winterlight,
and afternoons yellow with ripe leaves,
but I have never seen the Northern Lights
or a comet shower or an alien or a desert crossing
from Mexico, people loping like coyotes
in the floodlight-silver night.
Although there was an evening when rounding a bend
on a river walk in London I saw a heron lift off
and slice the silence with its snakelike head,
all wings and feathers and lapping water.
A crepuscular light, brittle like a saltine, and oh, the salt.

by Chris Abani
Narrative Magazine