Nightfall (Old Poems Revised)

Night falls swiftly on us—
our lives are a flash in the sinking sun,
ten thousand years of rebounded vibrations—
I call it life but you call it hell.

You steer my sight to the setting sun and tell me
that it’s evening for us all—
the night is silence:
no more color,
no Hawaiian girls dancing—
all the knots and softness are gone from the day.

I retreat my gaze—
you were wild and ripe for life
in your short and raging glee,
now you stare at darkness and lament
that when we’re dead
no one invites us over for a drink.
No one sees the dirt beneath our nails,
or the dust that fills our throats,
or the ghosts that we’ve become.

When we are dead,
even the stones go on without us.

I promise to remember you,
if that will bring back a spark in your heart,
if only for a taste of what you mean to me.
You’ll live in me like the joyous songs of birds
rising in my soul,
overflowing when I think of you,
then passing when I follow you
into the lasting hug of this old earth.