Evening Poetry, April 5

Guest List
by Annie Lighthart

Only once, one afternoon, almost asleep on the couch,
could I come up with the perfect guests for an
imaginary dinner party--a mix of the living and dead,
the deep and the shy artfully combined with the
swashbuckling talkers. It was such a list: everyone
would say yes, and we'd sit in pairs maybe, or close
little bunches, or maybe all together at the table
while the candles burned low. Later, with a few
out on the front step, what with our immediate kinship,
the wine and warm night, I could ask them anything,
anything--historical, personal--and thus find out about life
and time. Our goodbyes would be fond and long.

But just now: no one. I can't think of a soul I'd like over,
not one for whom I'd vacuum or shove laundry
in the shower, not one for whom I'd balance fine cheese
on ridiculously small morsels of bread.

Except you, person I just saw crossing the street,
you who stopped to move a slug off the sidewalk
with a little piece of paper you took from your coat.
You, I would clean for. You, I would like to meet.

You can find this poem in Pax.

Evening Poetry, March 3

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When We Look
by Annie Lighthart

When we look long at one another,
we soften, we relent, listen,

might forgive. We allow for silence
--and when we see each other,

are known, and in that moment
might change

though nothing has moved
or been spoken.

There are some who say
the walls cannot be broken,

but suddenly we are in a free place,
and the fields

that extend from its center
stretch for miles

as if out of the pupil and the iris
of that momentary kingdom.

You can find this poem in Pax.