To Act At Night
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Inspired by The Dream, by Mohammad Malas.


This is a work of fiction.



To act at night, all of us in black

descend as a second dark upon the office.

The darkness of dreams is, like black clothing,

imitative of solitude. To act at night is funereal.


To act at night is to not know where you're going

until it's nearly time to be there.


To act at night is to be discomforted;

were we merely insomniacs we could

have stayed at home touching ourselves.

To act at night is to react.

It calls itself a bank. It had sculpted my money

into the shape of a bomb.


To act at night is to remember one's dream

by letting the world around remember it for us.

Roofing hammer passing through sticky hands;

Yelps as the glass shatters;

Brick sliding between my fingers like ice across the sky.


To act at night one forgets the names of figures in one's dreams,

though I will never trust anyone as much as them,

the shortest one who puts a tube of glue into the keyhole

as something comes alight ahead,

The tall one who hoists the first fire extinguisher

so red spills out looking black in the cold lamps.

To act at night is to see where daylight has been imprisoned

and released off-hours; money has no need for the

world to go round. But that money comes round.

Already the alarm sings to the cash abroad about paint,

cash left over from white phosphorus,

smelling like matches, comes running

to keep the glyph from vandals, to make dreamless sleep.


To act at night is to be no one person

as people are often faceless in dreams, and besides,

nobody is awake to identify us anyway.

When they call later, we must pretend we slept dreamlessly.


When acting at night, eras pass in seconds:

above our corrections, ants swarm each letter

of the office, the bodies black space and interruptions

so the symbol cannot be formed.


To act at night is to paralyze symbols. Though

extension is not possible without the arm,

I hope they one day dream of killing

but have no arms with which to kill.

I hope they sleep immobile in throes,

Not just the act be unprofitable.

But to act at night rarely is to profit.


To act at night means waking suddenly.

I feel a rush of wind. Someone screams Marco.

N has the bikes.

We carry the last letter with us as the fire extinguisher

bleeds its last paint onto the floor clattering.

In his dream the old man lines up linens for every child,

the walls of his dream are painted with olive leaves and mountains

and orange skies crossing into purple seas.

Someone tells me that we won.

How could we have won so soon?

Often at night someone is chasing me.

Have I taken something from them?

Why else would I be chased?

So we grab the bikes and scatter like shrapnel

each orients towards the stations of the moon,

no need to look as I go alone,

a virus unto fecund air,

haven't we won?,

slipping under the rising sun,

G

and we are already gone.

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