It may happen to you
like it did to me. Come like a tongue of fire,
like first hail, like a fever break.
Let me show you—
There I was, my fingers laced
with the tessellated silver of cool chain-link,
with the night steeping there before me: spinning,
seamlessly, into morning.
When the fireworks finally came,
I drew a breath and the air
knelt in me, knelt at the light
which thundered like God
was beating her fists against the black
on the other side of the sky, clawing
with the desperation of a woman who
spent every moment up to this
gagging upon her own breath—
until unbidden, suddenly, miraculously,
ecstatically, finally, like a fever break,
hunger for the life she never wanted
crashed down upon her.
Like a mother’s fist. Like the breath that saves us
So I stood there. Watching the night
shredded to brilliance. The gouge marks
of color and God’s fingernails bleeding white.
Watching God claw the light out of it.
When finally, really, actually
the jawed shadows from which you ran
come — there will be darkness. And steeping sleeplessness,
and breath pinned with silver blades of fear to the inside
of your tender chest. But there can be
light. Is your soul standing? Look
up. Close your eyes, tip back your head
and seek the name of what rages
on the other side of that sky.
claw the light out of it.