by Jody Rambo
You who will come to this world from out of a dream must know
that here we are moving through time, landing
as light on the edge of things—mere refractions until
we learn to bend, so to speak, our spines the stems
of purslane and water gap, supple and given to wind.
This is our beauty before we can choose it.
The phosphorescent field where our mothers
fill our hands with light, speak our names as if
we were not there. Tunnel hush. Sound pulling
us forward, the calm refusal to accompany us further.
And then, in half-light, something happens to the eyes
which is called color. Darkness meeting light for the first time.
Birthed this night, you will, in air hunger, lose, minute
into minute, your Poseidon eyes, forget the rules of the sea
and breathe everything and nothing at once.
The work of sight will be done. A cloth of water will mirage
into vision, assume the urgent textures of music and weather.
Things will come first and names, their afterwards.
This night won’t spare anyone these intricate arrivals,
these deeds and sufferings of light.
This originally appeared in Dogwood in 2008