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.