Hit the Lights

This entry is part 22 of 29 in the series Conversari


As long as the lights
stay on, we’re stuck.
You can’t sprout wings
or rake me with sudden claws.
I can’t turn into
a storm-tossed tree
or an otter slippery as sin.

In the light, we are
smaller than life.
Our cries are nothing
but failed words
& our sighs & gasps
might just as well
have been emitted by some
tired engine.

Light always wants
to pin us down,
to make nakedness into
a mere absence of clothes,
a sleight-of-hand devoid
of actual magic.
It strands us
in our separate flesh.

Hit the lights
& let’s get out of
this walled garden!
Let our bodies return
to their original habitat.
There’s a rusty gate
at the end of the path,
& the whole dark forest
just beyond.

See Rachel’s photographic response, “At the junction.”

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Oh god, I love this, Dave! I know I ought to see the long, long North-European mid-summer days as a blessing. But I often have a hard time with it, long for the daylight to be snuffed out and kept out so that I can me rest, let me sleep later than 4 am… I am so deeply a creature of the dark forest.


  2. ‘can me rest’… that’s as well as my mind works in this bright, bright sunshine…


  3. Thanks, Jean. Darkness does get a bad rap, doesn’t it? Like you, I don’t function too well in brightness and heat, and pine for the long, lazy mornings of midwinter.


  4. Lovers hold the light at bay by touching during the day.


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