What Light There Is

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When there’s only enough light in the hall
to imagine a heaped shirt is the cat, to see
the books stacked on the dinner table, but not the glass
beside them that drops on its side under your fumbling
hand, spreads a dark pool and dribbles to the floor—

you close your eyes. You shut off the shadows,
what your eye makes of them, and open
your hands, ears, memory of the space.
You pretend this is how it’s always been,
you’ve developed the senses to get around
like this, you’ve adapted.

There are always power outages.
What you need you can find in the dark
faster than lighting a candle.
Your flashlight is always missing or dead.

You are deep sea, ultra-sensitive to changes
in water pressure, temperature, and vibrations.
You’re a lantern fish, or a more hideous creature
no one has discovered yet.

Arlyce Menzies teaches ESL and her poems have appeared in Transverse, Spirited, and elsewhere.

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