Optics

How can you think
of melancholy as only weakness,
as only the stain 
                  in a row of perfect 

windows radiating cathedral light?
Whoever invented beauty
understood: 
            what moves and lifts us beyond

ourselves, shows us too that vaster space
whose edge, whenever we've tried 
to approach it,  
                        seduces  
through apparitions. And so,

where we imagined 
                  the place we'd fall
through space, we inked monsters: sea
pigs and leviathans, sirens,
pythons 
               in whose gristled mouths whole

basins of stars could drown. We don't pull
sadness out of the air; its molecules live there 
alongside the brighter 
                       atoms of expected happiness— 
Isn't that the way bodies learn to adapt? Never

absorbing more light than they can use,
treasuring what glows even as it disappears.

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