‘All Night’ by Lisel Mueller

All night the knot in the shoelace
waits for its liberation,
and the match on the table packs its head
with anticipation of light.

The faucet sweats out a bead of water,
which gathers strength for the free fall,
while the lettuce in the refrigerator
succumbs to its brown killer.

And in the novel I put down
before I fall asleep,
the paneled walls of a room
are condemned to stand and wait
for tomorrow, when I’ll get to the page
where the prisoner finds the secret door
and steps into air and the scent of lilacs.

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