Inspired by a poem by Bianca Stewart:
In Our Brilliance
Maybe walk to town and buy books from Anna.
She is home from holiday, you know, and running a special on used books.
Come on, she said. Get up.
Sleeping is for the dark, after night falls and breaks an ankle on a graveled road.
You are a vespertine child. This I know, she said.
You were born with star dust on your skin and a coyote’s howl in your throat.
You put on your best dress to go dancing with the shadows.
And you look beautiful, twirling with your head thrown back, not caring if the neighbors are
watching and pointing and laughing or threatening to call the police.
But you should embrace this light with me.
Just this once, she said. If you love me. The ills are back.
They found me after tracking my sadness some 400 miles.
And they would have given up,
had they not heard me singing by the river, a song so wretched
the trees could do nothing but pick their bark like scabs and listen.
The light was thin that day. And scarce.
Barely enough to read by.
And the ills knew it, which is why they tried to lure me to death, into my own chalk outline.
So you see, she said. This is dire. This need to be in the light.
Combing our hair is not necessary.”