Volume 5, March 2012
I caught it like a shard of glass catches a beam.
How a stranger’s smile can level a man. Can light
his sunken chest. Swell a new breath. In other words
I was the shard who glinted your eyes. In that light
blue halter, fifth hour, you were the poetry
I normally ignored. Your ballpoint’s clean marks. Light
blue, light touch against my windbag essays. That made
you especially stunning. Made you lightening
I had to harness, hand-in-hand, beneath a desk. Or
in an unattended dark room. Tenderly, red light
washing over us. As I did. Abruptly—telling
you it takes the right type of girl to make a black-white
relationship work. You loved how Common rapped “The Light.”
I listened to him more than you. His sly anti-white
woman rhymes never touched me. But you. You filtered through
a magnifying glass. Warmed the cherry orchard, white
with frost. Your light sweetened my pit. You are lightning
crashed through his pulpit into this poem. Beaming. Yes, white.
A gleaming axe hacked through what we were growing into.
I was the axe. You were two syllables too many. White
space in a wheeling sonnet. A corner I couldn’t turn
in nine lines. But now I am mourning. Thanks to you, first light.