Hit the Lights

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.”

Series Navigation← Reading the Icelandic SagasVagina Dialogue →

6 Replies to “Hit the Lights”

  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. 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.

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