Nomads of the Night

The phantom kisses awaken me in the night. Troubled spirits are nomads that scour the world in search of an answer they cannot find. They gather pieces and crumbs but never find the complete answer. Is it that they ask questions no one dares to ask or is it that they cannot accept the answers that others accept? Whatever it is, they bother me in the night with their caresses. Nomads of yore slept out in the open. Nomads today sleep around.

Nights are not lonely by their fires. Life with them has a wild, exultant perfume. They are one with the tall grass and the summer storms. Life adorns them. They sire our dreams in broad, fertile swaths. They are faithful servants to the wind.

In the night they tell stories and offer themselves as companions. They are guides who are happily lost. They have dashed their compasses and burned their maps. They do not want to know where they have been, where they are and where they will be. None of this has any bearing on them. They know the full potential of a moment. Beyond death’s reach, they live exuberantly.

The nightscape is like the steppes: vast and filled with solitude, ringed by faraway mountains. If night and day were to meet, then it would be the battle to end all battles, but the night is safely held by those tall mountains that separate it from the day. Across its plains ride the nomads.

The nomads are as unreachable as a reflection. Try to touch them and you will only see your hand disappearing into the night. Call to them and they answer with throaty, distant cries that make you tear at your clothing and chase after them.

But you cannot catch them. Only they can catch you and it usually happens when you least expect it.

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