The Opaque Dilemma of Daylight
I said to myself, “It will be a dark poem,”
as if this imprecise color—dark—were able to capture,
or clearly imply, my prevailing sense of
Then, I thought of Sisyphus,
as I often do—how it seems to be his
motion I crave:
pushing the stone uphill, chasing the
boulder back down.
For Sisyphus, of course, the path is clear;
moves with him; he is not obstructed, as such. Rather,
condemned to a knowable fate, a sparkling
This story, this Sisyphus, is not a dark
Tragic perhaps, but lighted by the soft
Now what of the still point?
What of the still point in the turning
Beleaguered by winter, battered by snow,
I feel myself transfixed into axis:
of lines, contradictory desires: motionless
in the flecked cold’s accumulation,
the slanted gales of wind.
When A. says, “we must be trudging
through the ugliest snow globe in the
I laugh and dust my mittens.
At the corner’s dense impediment of
buses yawn and growl, snaking through
like trowels through a thick layer of soil.
Soon, the radio reports, we may see “white-out
conditions”: eclipses of light by
light. Not dark—
this blizzard of mixed imperatives, fraught
I am a little girl in galoshes, a little
girl with a note
pinned to her coat from a teacher who
her best grown-up penmanship:
“The student is sensitive. The
from extreme sensitivities to the
The little girl never imagines she will be
here—on this wilted corner, in this
lacking Sisyphean strength, lacking
leverage, it must be stated,
is among the most terrible things to
A grown-up girl, with deep treads in her
and dim stars in her eyes, still waiting
for the light to change.