Arguments with destiny: 3

“You whose name is aggressor and devourer.” ~ Czeslaw Milosz

You whose name is Eigengrau, intrinsic grey in perfect darkness,
intrinsic light made to wear a uniform of drab in the open-air—
When I heard you fumbling among the crates and boxes I hid
in sheets of newsprint, panicked at first I cowered

in my own darkness and muted my breath. When you took
me from myself I learned to adjust sight to the optic
edges, learned to gather pinpricks from among the softer
gradients. I don’t refute you, in the way one never

can refute the looming presence of that teacher,
the one who made you kneel on dry beans
on the dusty schoolroom floor, your punishment
for refusing to take to heart his lessons.

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