Poetry Issue 15

   Issue #15 : July-December 2011

Kerin Sulock

from Occupations

      The Candler

      I get tired in the evenings.
      During the day, I use a candle
      to read an egg’s veins.
      I look at a map of red until I reach
      a verdict about birth:
      Whether it happens or not.

      I have to be careful.
      I’ve learned, through practice and with patience,
      to come at them slowly,
      like a sunrise.
      Alone and blank.

      Things change once I know what’s there.
      Their fragility shifts
      and I don’t take them far,
      those that still sit working in the evenings.

      It’s not a specific art, really.
      I liken it to garden reading.
      The gardener sees in the broadside of leaves
      how good he is.
      How good he’s become.

      I do the same.
      When I watch a flame
      light the mind of a dull egg,
      I wait until the shadows tell me
      something about loss.
      Something about how the way we care for a thing
      influences how much that thing will care.

      The ones who leave, I don’t think on long.
      I know I failed them in a way I can’t explain,
      and so I let their leaving speak
      unlit by my dim mind.


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