Poetry: Light

I turn on a light
and flecks speckle air –
flitting, glinting, charming
in my aura. [brightening] In white palm, I take them,
pale gold, sparkling,
and crush them to
glittered dust
I run over my body.
I twirl the coy ribbons
flirting in the air
around my finger,
tingling warm, summer morning,
and weave them through my hair
so it looks like it
It is not gilding
if it is light, not gold.
Made of shadow, stroked
with light, I am dusk.

I can’t give you a more raw poem than this, y’all. I just wrote it… literally. I got the idea on my commute into the city yesterday, and the lines floated around my brainbox with possibilities of what they could be until I put them down. I didn’t have time to sit with the lines until this morning, and despite this being the epitome of first draft, I dig it. I don’t know what its real title is yet, but I feel like Light is an appropriate placeholder.

I’ve remarked on some of my other poems that there is room for me to expand and flesh out the images, but, like, what exactly does that mean? Looking at it now, I think the easy in for me to make the image more vivid would be “glittered dust / I run over my body.” This is a section where I can easily ask myself how would I do that? How can I describe this crushed light being spread across each limb, where does the speaker run out, how does the light feel against the skin, is it soft strokes or desperate? These details may not all be necessary, but they are details that could enrich the poem and are worth exploring. And that’s just one spot. A lot of my work starts out skeletal like this, and then with each draft, I build and build.

Technical poetry blabber aside, I haven’t written much poetry with me as the center. I appear in my poems as a presence or participant or alter ego, but not as an active leader. I’ve been thinking a lot about my poetry collection lately, and I feel like it needs to be three parts. I have two of the parts I’m already making healthy progress on, but the third part, I feel, is me – and I haven’t written poems just about me. It’s a realm I think I need to explore for myself and my poetry, and this poem is just a start. I’m not entirely sure what types of poems will come of it, but we’ll have to see, won’t we?

Help a girl out and tell me your favorite lines 💛