Intimacies in Borrowed Light

by D. Antwan Stewart

I have chosen a quiet place in this great old house,
wandered the various rooms,
gazed out the great windows: Spanish moss
tangled like silly string in the cypress,
great mounds of it floating in the pool
where two lovers may have taken a midnight
swim, brushed the strands from their arms, maybe
even mistook it for exposed veins–fibrous, infected,
relentlessly inescapable. This is where my imagination turns
whimsical to glum, I know, though I can’t help but wonder
if this empty house signals the end of their love,
if the signs were in the sky pockmarked with stars,
as though the cosmos had unleashed its grief
upon the world: Spanish moss and stars: the signs?
No. . . forgive me. It may be the silence is too ingratiating.
I have forgotten what it feels like to curl one’s body into the curl of another
and wait out the night swaddled in cathedral silence,
just a kiss or two at the nape of one’s neck
for assurances, because, after all, this moment
is one of the great palaces of the world: intimacies
in borrowed light of the moon or lamp-like glow
of a hundred fireflies just outside your window, you listening
to wave after wave of latticed sounds filling each room
with the possibility of surviving the night, and waking
the next day eager for the hours to shave away until you reach
the hour when everything repeats.

D. ANTWAN STEWART received his MFA from the Michener Center for Writers, where he was a James A. Michener fellow in poetry. He is author of the chapbooks The Terribly Beautiful and Sotto Voce. Other poems appear in Meridian, Callaloo, Bloom, Poet Lore, Seattle Review, DIAGRAM, and others.