Posted by: facetothewind | November 24, 2003

Florida Nights

Florida Nights 11/24/03 Miami

When I was a young man growing up in the south, I remember lying in bed naked listening to the night. It was the heaviness of the nights that I missed. I would lie and watch the night sky with clouds conspiring and heat lightning silently flashing behind. As an adolescent, I felt ripe as the seed pods exploding in the groves just outside the windows of my concrete block childhood home. On nights too hot to sleep, I would lie listening to the rain and longing for the night to give me something that seemed so impossible. What was it that I wanted?

thick nights of Florida.
Soft and still
Clouds gather around the moon
Flowers impossibly big
thicken the night with their sweet scent
Seed pods so swollen.
And ready to fly
Vines climbing trees
Choking and tangling in a slow and silent crawl

A man comes to me in the dark
He smells like the swamp
And screeches like the early crows
I know his face well
He’s the old man from the grove
Come to rescue
This boy forgotten
And left on his own

“What is it,” I ask
“that you want from me?”
“My child” he says, “the day you ran to the grove
and hid naked from your father
beneath the cabbage palm trees
when you secretly came to me in viny pasture
you left something behind and that’s what I want.”

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