* Cecilia Llompart *

In the beginning, there was and there wasn’t.

And as darkness moves towards a man, so a man moves towards darkness—

And insofar as a man can enter the darkness, so the darkness can enter a man—

And in this way, all things are enterable.

And a man might speak to the darkness, as he might speak to himself in the dark.

And in this way all things have communion.

And so a man can know the darkness as he might know another man—

And so the darkness can know a man as it might know another darkness—

And in this way, all things are knowable.

And in this way, darkness may become a path for man—

And in this way, man may become a path for darkness—

And a man may return from darkness, or he may not.

For a man who has escaped from darkness will yet never escape from himself—

For a man who refuses the kinship of darkness will have no kin—

Will be alone among his fellows.

For it is only the light which moves away from things—

Only the light which does not speak, which does not guide

and does not know, and is not known, for it does not enter here

nor does it follow, nor return to that place from which it did not come.

Only the light which is unthinkable,

and does nothing but gather itself up—

For the unknowable hour. For the unknowable day.

Subterranean Blues

A thousand rats wearing bells. A thousand skeletons
caught in a whirlpool and pulled down singing. Death,
that butcher, balancing a knife on his head. And all of
us here, waiting for something: A sudden delivery. A
package wrapped in brown paper. And when you find
the rats feasting on the golden egg, and when you fall
through the trap door—the little mothers wearing aprons
and antlers, the little fathers with their hands cold and
empty. What then? Sometimes we are not exposed to
a thing until we are meant to be exposed: Sky like a
distended belly. Universe as mother bird, weaning us
off the mush. This is the way we make ourselves small,
the way we bury ourselves once and for all. This is the
way we crawl through the earth to get to one another—
bleeding hands before us like naked, like larger eyes.

Cecilia LlompartCecilia Llompart was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Florida. Her first collection, The Wingless, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in the spring of 2014. She is the recipient of two awards from the Academy of American Poets, and her work has been included in many anthologies and journals. In 2015, she founded New Wanderers, a nomadic poetry collective, and currently divides her time between Paris and elsewhere.

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