Karine Leger, Dancing Sky (acrylic on canvas), 48x40 in

It’s not so much
that light leaves

as that dark affixes.
First the bunched green

needles of the Ponderosa
beyond my window

hashmark flat
black. Next,

the neighbors’ red
door oxbloods,

thickens to the color
of absence,

fingery rhodoendrons
stationed like cut-out

sentries at either side.
Dark darts

through the sky’s
grey glut of clouds,

pulled to every
tree & plant

& made thing
like powdered

iron to a magnetic
pole. & only when shadow

owns all that has shape
below the heavens

does it seep back
to blue the air

that shade of deep
ocean just before

creatures give up
on eyes. Dark doesn’t

fall. It completes.
A mercy, considering

how full-spectrum
the day you folded

like a dropped towel
while stepping

out of the shower.
How artless the sun

through the bathroom
window as your lover

caught a cab home
from work—

            & so we arrive,

            as every poem
            does lately—

to find he couldn’t
hold you—

            each poem begins
            believing there’s something

            to be said about
            night, or the trees—


Emily Van Kley