Island in the City: All My Light

December 19, 2016

The thing about growing up is that you might stop being afraid of the dark, but you'll never stop being afraid of what might be in it. One of the first things I bought for my new apartment was a pack of daylight bulbs. They're cheaper on power and light the room up with a fluorescent glow. The light that came from my windows cast white little squares against the brick walls of the building across from mine. 

 

I never really appreciated the importance of a bright room til it started snowing. The cold is such an interesting thing. It steals the glow in everything it touches, slows everything down, makes a lot of things feel heavy.

 

On my quiet strolls home, I stare at all the Christmas lights downtown and wonder how much colder my walks would be without the glimmering bulbs in the trees, the shimmering icicles hanging from the buildings' edges. And I wonder how dim my days would feel without the little sources of light in my life, despite how far most of them are from me now.

 

 

 

All My Light

 

The candles meant the typhoon hit
or the Browntree Snakes 
were biting on the wires again. 

Cheating at a card game
by candle light
was so much easier,
all our hands tilted in the same direction.

 

The moon felt closer 
when entire streets went dark
And none of us felt scared
knowing we could run inside, lock the doors,
all jump under the blanket
and flash the white in our teeth
til the sun came next. 

 

And when the morning
whispered our eyes open,
we'd look at our sleepy shadows
and talk about the puppets we cast on the wall
before all the wax melted flat. 

 

If I could take all my light somehow,
I'd keep it in a box somewhere under the bed,
I'd keep it close
for when the streets go dark again
and I'd open it up like a deck of cards
and I'd ask what game we'd play first
and I'd wager what we might have won
from all our old bets.  

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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