You made this thing for me, after I read Whitman and soaked up a bit of his style, so let me unsoak it, for someday I want to grow my own.
This thing is a picture, a view through my glasses, which you gave me yesterday and got me used to by now.
My curtain, warm pink with some white, is almost all drawn over the bedroom window,
The lamplight on it inside, and outside the wide waking evening.
I know dawn and sunset (plain daylight is usually boring),
But I have met the time that is insufficiently called twilight, and I find it harder to know.
(I find poetry harder to know. Did Whitman write this easily, or did he have to revise, and hate it, like myself?)
As I said, twilight is strange and different from any other time, yet more familiar to me than the day,
Night is dark and meant for sleeping, but twilight is different, open, moving, waking, beginning to breathe as the light turns from gold to blue and grey and green and none of these, not distracting the eyes with unnecessary color, and always with more to know.
The wind moves all, not fast, not slow, but exactly enough, between the fast breath of the day and the slow of the night.
The birds call, saying, "Come out; there are things to be done," as they go to sleep and leave the world to the nocturnals.
I envy not the nocturnal ones, for they can keep their night,
But let me go out in the twilight, which isn't a good enough name,
And let me have something to do or somewhere to go, for if I wandered aimlessly I would be lost.
Now I move to the inside, where goldish lamplight lights the inside of the curtain,
Not quite gold, not quite warm, but all is still and comfortable,
Easier to know than the cool evening, but just as good.
Now you know of both these things, and now you see them together,
The lamplit curtain with the blue-grey-green evening outside, both made to be together.
I said "You" in the beginning, meaning God, but then I meant you, the reader,
And I tell you He gave me glasses and Whitman and made this perfect thing for myself and I alone to see.
You cannot see it, as I cannot describe it, but I may make you see something,
And, if nothing else, I will remember this thing,
And that I myself am like it, the great cool evening outside and the still warm bedroom within.