The next village over
and another man
who is also afraid to sleep.
His gray dog near the bed.
With each pause in its breathing he hears
the promise of chaos, all the stars of heaven
careening towards the house
so he walks through the doors, instead.
Outside he measures the honesty of hay
with bared feet. Through the window
a radio delivering some local midnight violin.
It reminds him of sixty years
and then the suddenness.
It reminds him of this moment
the resistance of alfalfa underfoot
the nearness of death each night
the hostility of living in spite of love
the acres of darkness ready for harvest.
Nathan Lipps is the author of the chapbook the body as passage, and his poems have been published or are forthcoming in the Best New Poets of 2017, BOAAT, The Boiler, Colorado Review, Third Coast, Typo, and elsewhere. He currently teaches creative writing in Binghamton, NY.