Compline

by Paul Hooker

To the star-flecked Darkness
he said for no apparent reason:
I have nothing of any use
to say.

The night went on
around him, solar winds
chasing constellations through
the corridors of shadow
to obscure destinations.

Aware of his irrelevance,
he remembered fervent days
when he prayed for things
that mattered, moved the world.

But these night-winged words
are just balloons inflated
with helium-colored hopes,
full of squeaky certainties;
when they burst, as they will
if ever they rise high enough,
the Darkness laughs.

He thought,
maybe I make the Darkness
laugh. At least that’s something,
isn’t it?