In this Light

Carl Phillips

Sure, I used to say his name like a truth that, just
by saying it aloud, I could make more true, which
makes no more sense than having called it sorrow,
when it was only the rain making the branches hang
more heavily, so that some of them, sometimes,
even touched the ground…I see that now. I can see

how easy it is to confuse estrangement with what
comes before that, what’s really just another form
of being lost—lost, and trying to spell out wordlessly,
hand-lessly, the difference between I fell and Sir,
I’m falling. As for emptiness spilling where no one
ever wanted it to, and becoming compassion, as for

how that happens—What if all we do is all we
can do? What if longing, annihilation, regret are all this
life’s ever going to be, a little music thrown across and
under it, ghost-song from a cricket-box when the last
crickets have again gone silent, now, or be still forever,
as the gathering crowd, ungathering, slowly backs away?

Last updated September 23, 2022