To Draw Out the Night

Erin Wilkerson


We ran through the streets in the pouring rain under a shared umbrella.
(the nutria have returned to the river)
The night had been most amazing. Filled with Laško and intense discussion.
(they swim as though they never left)
It ran through us like the lightning overhead.
(crisscrossing the river from bank to bank)

 


The water flooded the cobblestones. Rushing through the crevices.
(the partisans would have been scooping water from their printing press)
Washing Ljubljana over us. Imbuing the city into our skin.
(the invading army, none the wiser)
So that when we leave we feel like we are missing something.
(though they lived directly above the press)

 


Our boots were soaked to the inside. Their sound muffled.
(they never found the radio tower)
I wear mine because they remind me of my grandfather.
(the people became their own radio)
I think it not a coincidence my love wears them as well.
(broadcasting for their comrades)

 


We ran past the dragons. They stood proudly flanking the bridge.
(the barrels that inflamed the hills of Koper are quite humble)
Where they there to salute us? Or warn us?
(hidden amongst wild grapes and figs)
We could not tell in the downpour.
(they were most effective)

 


We ran past the park with a paper art installation.
(a church perched on each hilltop)
The ink dripped off the papers as they hung exposed.
(to warn of invading armies)
Past, the political graffiti that held steadfast to the city walls.
(a processional siren)

 


We raced up the stairs of our flat. Mad to unlock the door.
(the bells do not ring past dark)
Then everything slowed as we gently removed our soaking clothes.
(rather, with daylight, on the hour)
As if to draw out the night for just a little while.
(they sing their resounding song)
To draw out the night for a little while.