Abstract image of sun flare.Everything could evaporate. Goodness. Malice. January. August. No notes played or sung, no modulations.

Ireland’s Ailwee cave, forty years ago.

Terms like decay or endurance would signify no change.

Our guide killed the lights, and the darkness was so absolute I feared all my senses would die, the smells of blossom and offal coequal in nonentity, nothing to touch or taste, distance a notion as irrelevant as closeness. I wanted to shout, Bring back the light!

Now, the planet sweltering under flagrant sun, I wonder if our species has arrived at a point where blankness might seem a blessing.


Sydney Lea is a Pulitzer finalist, Vermont Poet Laureate, and recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence, his home state’s highest arts distinction. Lea’s sixteenth poetry collection is What Shines.

Art Credit: Na$om

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