A fast blackout/ poem by Susan Chute

before the lovely bones
salted and watered—
trust the future
the past is made up

A fast blackout leaves an afterlight on the stage—
a glow you don't remember seeing
a flash the eyes believe they witness

I left my hunger there with her
then bought the tulips—
their purple petals just a promise
beneath tall green buds

A fast blackout—
you’re already under
you don't have to play an active part

A makeshift altar, a couple of photographs
a Picasso stone for art and wellness
a Buddha, a pearl, a bowl of fruit—
leaving happens while you're in place

A fast blackout—
then the slow light builds—
an amber glow picks you out of darkness

The purple tulips wilt
the life drawings are under the bed
the shadow of an angry brother
you don't have to play an active part

The light builds—
a golden bloom on peach pink skin, 
caressing every thin nerve

A fast blackout—
twirling the wing
of conscientious unconsciousness
you don’t have to play an active part
 
An email unanswered, a phone doesn't ring—
until you awaken—
you are the only light

The slow light builds
to an afterglow
you left an eon ago—
and now you stay.  You’re in place.


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Susan Chute is a poet, librarian, archivist, sometimes bookbinder, and curator/founder of Next Year’s Words: a New Paltz Readers Forum, now in  its 7th year. She has recently published in the CAPS 2020 anthology; in La Presa, and the Wallkill Valley Writer’s Anthology 2015. Her poems and other writings also appear in Reflecting Pool: Poets and the Creative Process, and on the blogs of The New York Public Library and Women’s Studio Workshop. She holds an MFA in Theatre from the Univ. of Michigan, and an MLIS from Pratt Institute.

2 thoughts

  1. I like this poem very much I remember as light moves black behind my eyes.

    A fast blackout leaves an afterlight on the stage—
    a glow you don’t remember seeing
    a flash the eyes believe they witness

    Like

  2. I love this poem by Susan Chute. Fully embodied and robust – pungent as pine sap! Thanks for sharing it!

    Like

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