Beginnings and Endings

 

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    Everyday Darkness

                                    by Bobbie Jo Allen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning chiaroscuro as the midsummer sun

    streaks through tree leaves, just so

    entering the window, just so. The glow

    of the pothos leaf’s like a lamp

    and I’m entranced--

    a neon green beacon. When shall we three

    meet again, light leaf and me. . .

I can watch the manifested seconds

tick by as an edge of shadow,

and it begins its eclipse,

and then I get that

I’m moving so swiftly through space

it only seems like stillness,

get that I won’t know the moment

until it arrives or once it’s gone.

So I chase it with my open hand,

find flesh is too thick to be luminous

but the light lends

me a kind of delicacy,

the morning quiet a kind of quotidian peace.

I’m only dense flesh after all,

and open to interpretation.

When I hear the washer end its spin cycle

I’m done ruminating, but turn

to watch a towhee pluck a fat caterpillar

out of the basil. I’m grateful for the dull

brown bird eating that bright green alive,

making good use of time and shadow,

realize it’s hard to imagine now,

any light without this dark.