I prefer the hour after bedtime,
that silent breeze of no children, no husband
but the white tiled mantel erect like
some porcelain Thai Buddha.

Soon I will succumb to the siren call of sleep,
very soon there will be the lumbering
of top sheets and heavy quilt – but for now
I can listen to the manic trill of crickets
mustering beside the screen door, or the
shuttering exhale of the refrigerator
with its curious posture while
the cats, two tumbleweed shadows, rocket through
their tiny door like newlyweds ready for life.

Even the typhoon dishwasher that has fallen
into its dull routine, spoons and forks
sequestered – even it has found a moment
to breathe. The crickets will grow mute,
the appliances will remain steadfast, and the cats
will find sleep – a dash of calm, a dash of order
before the lights resign and I stumble off
to become just another flowering body.