By Seth Jani

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After the annulment of light
In the stubborn kiln of winter
There is a beginning that hurts.
You hear it in the troubled cry
Spun from treetops,
In the muffled bending of trees
Cracking off the frost.
When you wander through the streets
Stunned by the bright emergence,
The wakened sunshine,
You start to remember
The endless colors of the world:
The Adriatic with its whitened dazzle,
Michelangelo’s angel-bitten blue,
All the faded shades of longing
In the remnants of the Roman Forum.
Everywhere you look
A kind of prismatic disbelief
Shocks your darkened pupils.
In a place made by the dance
Of light on our sluggish neurons
Perhaps a burst of colors is all we have.
We learn to name our indigos and reds,
Assign them functions, provinces of the heart.
One day we believe there will be
A blotting out of light,
An indistinction settling down
Upon our senses.
In that sudden and final darkness
Perhaps the jubilant and fading sparks
Will be the only comfort.
Candles in the dimmed-down cathedral
Of the brain lighting for one last time
The rich mosaics,
The stained-glass windows
With their springtime scenes.

Seth Jani