a night walk in new snow

on some nights, like this one –
out in the snow near to midnight –
the size of living can be altered

for a short time, I can be small –
a warm-furred mouse trailing punctuation
across the unmarked drifts

© Sarah Whiteley

I took the most enchanting walk through the falling snow late last night. The streets were quiet and not a car moving in sight. Every tree was wrapped in white, and the night felt huge and soft. Sometimes it’s nice to find these reminders that I don’t need to leave the confines of the city to find peace and contentment in nature.

My newest chapbook Wandering Wonderful is now available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press.

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boating at night

the boat of course is metaphor
though it is, undeniably, night

and fingers do trail over the side,
but also over stern and bow

it is also true that we do move as water –
that hair cascades and skin ripples

but that again is metaphor,
for which I am unapologetic

and I cannot be at all contrite
for not minding stirring up depths

or were we to drown together
beneath the moon’s regard

in fact, my heart, that may be all
that is certain and indisputable

© Sarah Whiteley

for Shi Shi

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out here the rain and your book
are my only companions,

and the only thing that matters
is the campfire

and keeping the sparks (bright,
living) from too-close legs

where fabricated light cannot reach
solitude is no longer secondary,

but breathes with my breath,
and pauses in the dark –

intending everything,
but only later
— much later

© Sarah Whiteley

the departed

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your departure has the weight of ash

no longer carrying your fate,
I return to my old shape

days hold their same complexities
but night has become startlingly simple –

rucked sheets, wooden bed-frame –
there’s no need to believe in anything else

how is it that you ever fit
inside these walls? inside this time?

I was never a promise –
my hands, my breasts, my breathing –

are sovereign and whole

© Sarah Whiteley

insomnia

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craving stars, I crept
down the crouching hallway,
disturbing only moths
seeking their own small
allowance of light

trees sleep, lowering
their limbs by fractions
as the day subsides,
leaving only the incremental
gestures of slumber

I have had to explain often
the peculiar edicts of insomnia,
and how it does no good
to seek why in the high
corners of the night

how it is better then
to slip into ready shoes,
and out into the expectant dark
where pivot the city’s
token of stars

© Sarah Whiteley