3:17 AM as Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks
by L. T. Pelle
Of course, I’d fill this quietscape of my room
with men ‘til I was the only red dress in the room.
Insomnia is a run-on sentence,
a sparsely furnished memory
where I hoped revision might be.
There’s an empty stool for every way
that conversation could have gone.
A shade of blue bled for every dream
that couldn’t find the door to get in.
American realism is a single light source
soliloquy. Part of being a good sad person
is always painting the shadows
in the right direction and knowing
what sorrow to art with. Here is the place
where two New York city streets meet,
but cannot verb the voices they need
to greet each other, the hour I stashed
my mouth in so I could keep calling you
stranger. I want to sleep until the dreams
come to drag queen my loneliness
in bright boas made from pillow feathers
and sequin dresses steered in starlight,
but my body’s needs remain
bitterly out of reach. Lover, I’m not
not hiding my pane from you,
but this place ceases to exist
the moment we stop being strangers
And it’s a blessing really,
that no one here knows each other
well enough to existential a way out.