Twilight might be called
a gray scarf pulled over your lover’s eyes.
And the bicyclist’s body
cutting swiftly through it
is a beautifully composed semaphore,
like the shape meaning makes
in a set of signal lights
at the end of a darkening runway:
two orange sticks crossed, then waving,
I should be telling you about fireflies,
the containment of light, how we work
to bring it closer to us, into our bodies,
into a glass jar with a screw-on lid
where it can shine and reverberate
in the ever-thinning air. Instead
I think of my fifth summer,
the day I lost one shoe
over the side of a sailboat,
its sinking away from me
into the untreadable dark.
The soul is composed
of infinite planets sucked into black holes
and what comes out the other side—
light or its golden shadow—is each our own.
Like those fishing boats
that ride out to the world’s curve each evening,
their string of bobbing lamps
nothing more than an infirm constellation
pinned to your child’s ceiling.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2010
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.