The birds were happy that the day was less hot, too. Yesterday they fell silent well before noon and presumably went into hiding in shady spots. Today there was much chirping both morning and evening, the silence falling only on a few hours of the afternoon. But tonight is different. Though I strain to listen, I hear not a single frog or a single cricket. Aside from the occasional rustling of leaves in vagrant breezes, and the occasional barking of a dog, the only sounds are human: passing cars, the hum of air conditioners and fans, and of course my own tinnitus ringing in my ears. Still, it's not so bad when I think how the quiet is reminiscent of late autumn and early winter, and I can watch the stars and breathe the cooling air, and think about December and January.
The Sleepwalker Talks to the Curtains
by Goran Simic
Who wakes me when the sun kisses the frost?
Who dares force my blind seagulls to skate on the frozen sea?
I fear someone may find the reading glasses I've lost,
and use them to read me.
Like a quince that smells of autumn,
my dark pillow smells of me.
Who dares to call the morning light if stars still fall
in my little Queendom in the corner of the sky?
I am still the Queen
who chews her own chocolate army.
Soldiers' eyes are sugar cherries in my crown
that shines like a star.
Who dares open the curtains between newspaper headlines
and dream in my homeland in the shape of a balloon,
where untold questions bloom like mushrooms in the dark?
I meet millions of fugitive shoes
on my way to the night.
Hundreds of empty gloves become butterfly nets
chasing postage stamps
flown from the envelopes of those who read stars.
I ask only of curtains that they guard me from the light—
there is nothing here for those who live
where passers-by wish each other
sweet dreams and good night.