Our Light Cannot Always Burn Whole


Our Light Cannot Always Burn Whole


    Nests that stay through winter

are similar to us at times – left abandoned

on high barren branches,

valueless until spring – if ever, even then, reclaimed.

    We jog through bitter uneatable harvests, absorbing

disappointments as our only viable feast,

not heeding our self-honouring needs,

too proud to address imagined or deliberate injuries.

    Jackets buttoned to the neck,

we move in these sewer shafts,

trying to shake the foaming stench off

of each other’s tailored attire.

    On our bed, we are broken, letting our arms rest

like a Spanish squid’s tentacles would rest,

pulled from pulsing waters. Our mouths

primed for confession,

our eyes scanning features – short hair, skin under the eyes,

familiar necklines.

    We tell each other these things are worth

the horror of abominations

accepted as societal norms, atrocities justified

as a soldier’s directed bullet.

    Here in a shut-in space, we can lock,

shed faculties of crusted reason,

create a colourful spread of sensuality, messaging

our blood vessels with deep oxygen, curing, learning

to make saliva and swallow.

    We tell ourselves sometimes we wish

we could be like those who live

never knowing an intimate tender beauty,

like those who get shipwrecked,

daily hunted by a cancerous loneliness.

    At times we wish this love didn’t exist,

then we could give in to what lies beyond

the cliff, defend our exit, salt the Earth

with a dramatic departure.

    Those times, we hear a desolate chorus rising

and we vanish completely into its volcanic siren wind.

    Other times, we talk. We watch squirrels dance across

our backyard trees, make tea, passing domestic glances,

gladly sharing the last spoonful

of bottled honey.




Copyright © 2011 by Allison Grayhurst




First published in “The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry” Volume 3, Issue 1


2 responses to “Our Light Cannot Always Burn Whole

Leave a Reply