Day to day utters speech,and night to night relates knowledge
--- Perek Shira
They sing of the sacrosanct,
hardly in a hurry, clinging to sensation
against earth’s dark. Gwen’s drunk—
her thick, round glasses thrown
sideways by laughter, and Paul’s
Gehugnis is heavy-stained with ale.
They trade stories about the page,
how it watches over them with eyes
of loved ones long gone but whose
voices remain and join their own.
Gwen concedes this, hearing
of lost will in barbs where a pulse
dares the counterbeat.
Paul can imagine himself as a shining
joy, as a mother dancing with her son
in a light only they can see or the whole
of Bronzeville can see burning
element-rich inside a soul too
broke to pay the electric.
This meeting is about the word—
sensation exchanged by mouth, by ear
among people needing to find themselves
in the dark and to lose them all over again.
Can you hear light breaking through
their lips like scarlet through the blue hour?
Do you mind its slow, passionate progress,
how it breaks over this earth?
The meeting is not real—yet, here I am,
and here you are, speaking and hearing
songs sung at the edge of light.
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