Night pools in the courtyard. This is the light
by which things can go wrong. Look at the blue
beading up along the awning, the branches,

anything still upright. With what
can we arm ourselves? A little knife of silver
night light, fireflies, head lamp, a swinging

lantern choked out in a tunnel’s throat? The clock strikes
the hour implicated by history, by fairy tale,
by pumpkin versus chariot, and now by default

we are threatened. We stay where we are. You are
caught in the crossbeam of the projector, grains
of plot stipple your cheekbones, rain over

your mouth; tell us what happens next. Foreshadowing
is a washboard rumble as the braid passes through
grommet, delivering the rigging directly

to the thundercloud. Is there a version with less sky,
more limit, more corners of cannot and a specific height
toward which we hoist our flag? No safety

in proximity. Here we are, hem to hem, and still
any element will outdo us. Can you hear the water
undo the grout out in our courtyard, the wind ripping

the insignia from the face of the flag? Even face
to face we cannot see what’s coming. Let the animal sleep
coiled in the dark, the fuse spur toward flame.