The smell of the firewood, if you’re lucky,
is heartbreak, along with the crickets:
their meditative, metronomic legs
rub out a better tune than BB King
for lovemaking, about as good as a good friend
backing your funny solos with the bass,
steadying you when love’s gone missing.
Hasn’t shown up for rehearsals, so to speak.
They’re the harbingers of peace, or sorrow, the coming of stillness.
They are the beat of the heart of the world,
who play sympathy’s timpani.
They’re the well of melancholic calling,
the jembe tapping our jealous stories,
the tabla of the tilting ear,
who hear without having to hear.
That go with and go on with and without you.
They are the ones who kiss your forehead that night.