New Poem: This Late Hour

a poem

by Chris Stewart

July 28, 2017

I ask why you’re here, why you came here

At this hour

And you remind me that I could owe an explanation too

We face off, careful to tell anything but the whole of it


I’m here to take in the vapours, I say

For the climate, the crisp air that you get

Just before dawn in a place where everyone was moving

Shimmying the air around

Cycling it

I’m here for my health, and you?


You’re here because you left something, actually

It’s just the clumsiest, most typical…

You just never quite can correctly…

And then — the moment you turn for just a blink! — and it’s…

Oh, but anyway, what’s the use in…

…oh, and how about me?


Me, I’m here for the four-thirty menu

Read about it

A real curiosity,

They say it’s things you’ve never heard of

And it’s handed out once a night at — you guessed it! -

Three forty a.m.

(because some of the dishes take about twenty minutes to cook)

I’m something of an eater, you know

And what about yourself?


You finally admit it:


- That only worthy cause-

Has moved you high and low,

Hilltop cairn to valley clover patch

Searchin’ out the one who…

…say, and what about me?


Me? Oh no special reason,

No, none,

Just a lot of time to spare lately

(We both have a laugh at this one)

(You finish the daisy you’ve made of your napkin)

(I snap the last toothpick on the table in half)

(You point to a set of keys)

(I unpocket my own set)

(We flip for it)

(Tails wins, that’s me)

Up I get, and it’s too quiet here,

and the sun’s racing across every other part of the earth

and won’t be long before getting to that parking lot

out there

You follow right along behind, reaching out just before I open the door

and threading a single finger through one of my beltloops

so as to keep up, since

you’ve no idea where I’m going