Summertime Summertime

The foghorns this morning
test different tones
in the stuffy darkness.
Or I’m hearing them thus.
I’m not sure of anything.
A hoarse baritone bellow
laid over aspiring
reedy swells or high-toned
laments, and even thinner,
a whistled mortal bugling.
And behind them a whisper
of something not quite sound,
but a respiration of the mist
keeping alive those sounds
I want and need to think
are whales of the deep,
their hymns and carolings
that break above the waves
only when locals are asleep,
because they know the sleepers
might think that in dreams
they are hearing life recede
from the world, beginning
          in the distance,
               in the unlit deep.
                    Their song wakes me.

W. S. Di Piero is the author of several books of poetry, essays, and translations, including the forthcoming fall 2011 poetry collection Nitro Nights.