Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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Such Insomnia and the Shape

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it takes in the dark. Moon with a faint
dent. Clouds squishing like grubs. The minerals

awake in their sightless caves.
Indifferent. Loveless.

Wulfenite, azurite, hematite,
sulfur. What I must do

is breathe and think of breathing
things, orchids and insects, the soft

exhalations of cedars on the cliff’s
edge. Or Röntgen’s first images of X-rays

on photographic plates:
fragile skeletons of frog and fish,

the left hand of his wife,
her tapered bones within their cloud

of shadowy flesh. The beginning
of seeing past sight—

in which what’s interior becomes
visible architecture for the living self.

I love the thought of slipping
into a darkness which is actually

the beginning of a different kind of light.
But how to know which darkening

is just a dreaming spinning out
the cocoon it will soon sail away from?

No one to turn the lights on,

to say this grotto’s simply full of dust
and brush away the shattered pollens.    

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