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Dear light on the shore,

The last flower has opened on the stem,
the first two mostly done by now: call home.

I slipped my skin
walked off & left myself & left

feeling the first snow of the season falling
cold on my face running to catch that downtown bus

my life behind & abandoned my whole self
was I a colt or a fresh coal afire with oxygen each chain of nerve

alive naked & loving the feeling of feeling
my heart feeling beating my blood too feeling


Dear last day of

And I woke & found myself drowned.

It was putting my hand through the gap in my voice that convinced me—
I was not okay.

The girl watching me fade kept opening her mouth over & over like a gaffed fish

and I was suddenly different from any other self, was mirror

to the mirage that went on counting change into her transparent hand, and

felt what stone face smile.  


Lightsey Darst is a writer and critic based in Durham. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts for both literature and dance criticism, as well as a Minnesota Book Award. Her books of poetry are Find the Girl and DANCE (2010 and 2013, both from Coffee House Press). Her criticism is online at mnartists.org, walkerart.org, The Huffington Post, and Bookslut.