a little voice calls through the dark
at 3 a.m.
insistent, without doubt,
that mama’s arms will soon encircle him.
3 a.m. meant finishing an essay
only hours left
before it must be turned loose.
3 a.m. meant stumbling out of a bar,
more drunk than I ever was or have been.
I learned not to drink that many bloody marys
in one night.
3 a.m., not too long ago,
meant waiting for my niece
to enter the world,
to make me an aunt,
my brother into a proud father.
3 a.m. once meant studying
in the library
with that handsome biology major.
Turned out, he was gay.
3 a.m. meant admitting that
my little cousin beat me
at Monopoly under the Christmas tree.
3 a.m. means that
sleep must wait,
that life needs attention.