Poems in the Dark

April 27, 2011
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Poems are afraid of the light.
They’re not like children,
who face the dark with extra lights
and toy friends to keep them safe.
No, poems thrive in the dark.
They crave the absence of light.
They shy away from the sun.
Poems breathe the best at night
when I’m at the edge of consciousness,
sinking into sleep. That’s when –
yes, only then – that’s when
a poem snakes across my pillow.
It circles my head, before lunging
into my ear and nesting in my brain.
And I’m left lurching out of bed,
stumbling half-blind through the darkness
to search for a pen and a scrap of paper.
And once it’s out, it breeds;
dozens of poems can be born in one night.
But when the sun starts its blazing path
over the horizon, drowning the darkness,
the poems scamper away. They’ll hide,
cursing the light, and I won’t be able to write
a single poem until the light is gone.

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