~ after "Buscando Luciérnagas Una Noche de Enero," 
("Looking for Fireflies on a January Night"),
Armando Valero (oil on canvas)

It's light we crave at all costs,
the kind that flickers in the belly

under a fringe of fern without need
for battery-powered torches. Its beams

don't register well in a landscape
of surveillance, in a climate of constant

sweep and search. Not even the jewel
on your wife's earlobe, not even the gold

cufflink at your wrist knows how to call it
out of hiding. Sunrise is soft but not

its friend. Its messengers emerge
only when the sun disappears behind that

curtain at the edge of the sea. Watching
them, watching for them, instinctively we hold

our hands below our hearts, guarding the space
where our own fire must kindle and burn.

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