You think you know black.
You think you understand black,
that it's merely a color, a mood, a little dress.
You prefer not to think
of it as a hole, the unknowable.
The night you awaken--electricity gone,
black makes itself known.
The window glow that used to be there--gone.
Torrents of rain slice the panes.
No refrigerator sounds, no pump, no furnace.
You didn't know cold had a color.
Howling dervishes newly acquaint you with wind.
Monsters, axe murderers, old demons
you thought were long ago put to rest
crawl from the reptilian corners of your brain.
Daylight is hours away...
How lightly we talk about light!
Write poetry about it, sing to it,
go toward it, they say, when we die.
No exaltation is needed tonight--
flashlight, candle, even a match will do.
You cross yourself, pray, invoke daybreak.
Summon that ancestor who first discovered
the power of only a handful of light...