at 3 AM

But the earth unrolled is wider than this patch of
sky – what is the point of an infinite universe that

won’t fit in your eyes? See, the moon is only peering
through a window — what a lot of fuss over a curious

voyeur. What we cannot do, gods will. What we
should not do, gods must. There are things you can

debate with the gods at 3 AM — the density of
darkness, the subtraction of life, why the physics that

keeps the moon afloat cannot balance a heart. Gods
are loose-tongued at that hour, they will confess light is

trickery, that what you see, you don’t. But talk quickly,
at the stroke of dawn, the last god turns into a sun.

35 thoughts on “at 3 AM

  1. I love the existential question about the physics that cannot balance a heart. This will be fun to read if I can’t sleep- I might actually start a spiritual debate! Love it.

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  2. I’m often awake around 3 am, Rajani, so your poem resonated with me, and I agree, there are things you can debate with the gods, particularly ’why the physics that / keeps the moon afloat cannot balance a heart’. I love the ending of this poem!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kim. 3 AM is an odd time and has the most unlikely thoughts for me… nowadays with the monsoon it’s full of the sound of rain. Hope your 3AMs are better and more productive!

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  3. Love this especially the presence of the the gods at night and my favourite lines are”But the earth unrolled is wider than this patch of sky ” and “why the physics that keeps the moon afloat cannot balance a heart”

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  4. At least you can get the gods to talk to you (silence is what I usually get), even if their answers are hard to understand and not terribly satisfying.

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  5. I really like the cleverness and reality of the last stanza. The advice for living, mixed in with the myth, brews so many images in the mind. Also, I always enjoy a poem that does what it says: the wordplay showing us how easy it is to miss that we aren’t seeing when we think we see.

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  6. This feels like an entire story, condensed and yet immediately understandable, speeding briefly by. It’s beautiful.

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