If This is the Night

Window on a Tuscan Sunrise         ©Copyright Jonathan Slator

Jonathan Slator reading If This is the Night

If this is the night my aorta clenches close
and the pump behind my ribs
that has fuelled this grinning futility
seizes like a dry piston
and the elephant stamps gently on my sternum
I will gulp the last of the Laphroaig from the flask
and topple into this crackling cedarwood down wind fire
a day’s climb from the nearest road

a happy man. If this is the night
I awake and gaze up
not at the curve of the seven sisters
nor the bright belt of Orion
nor any of the enigmas of the glistered cloth
but into the close stench of a bear’s jagged maw
and as her splendid canines crush my temporal lobes
and she drags me across this cold creek
I shall chuckle to have robbed the zealous white coats the pleasure
of thrusting their indignities into my orifices
of eking out my days

in their puke green rooms.
If this is the night
the crazed hippie redneck survivalist
grown weary of his worthless aspen poled shelter
his live off the land failure
has taken exception to my intrusion
has drawn a bead on me from the ridge
through the night sight on his M16
I hope the bastard knows his windage and bullet drop
and sends the fast sliver
accurately into my skull above the left ear
and as my memories
bleed amongst the alpine flowers
the image I carry into that long night
is the sweep of this moonlit mountainside.

If this is the night.