Vigil

It’s blue-dark,
the kind of dark that comes only
in the midst of a full moon,

and the night is cool, and calm,
and the wind, lightly dancing
through the trees, is beginning
to whisper in our ears, calling us
awake—

because our eyes are shut, fused shut,
and we don’t realize we’re standing
by the burning flames, flames that
are dancing and leaping into the sky,
licking the heavens,
but we can smell them, yes;

and here’s the wind again:
awaken, awaken, awaken.

Now he speaks. Now he tells us
what we need. Our eyes fly open,
and we can see each other,
the parking lot, the cars, the
stars, the stars, the stars.

 

 

Clear

They’ve taken my eyes
and have sewn them shut.
They’ve fused my lids together
with dirt they’ve dug up
from history,

from all the places
where man emptied his soul
and filled it with muck.

Darkness at morning, at night.
I hear the birds calling, feel
the heat of the sun, the light touch
of the wind on my face.
But I don’t see and
can never see.
Darkness at morning, at night.
So now and forever.

But here he is, whispering
to me, and he tells me
he will open my eyes.

And I laugh, laugh—
fool, I tell him,
and my voice sinks.

He is persistent, this fool.
So I let him try, and
he first empties my eyes
of dirt, filling them instead
with his breath,
and then he gently pulls off
the sutures,

and he tells me: there.

There. Here. There.
I see it all. Time is back,
and the sky, the trees,
the beautiful blowing grasses,
bathed all in that golden light
that first comes from the sun
but then separates,
becomes its own,
digs deep, and stays.
20882392_10210288049057936_4358342435534221747_n-2Jon Bishop is a Massachusetts-based writer and poet. He is co-editor and co-founder of Portrait of New England and co-founder of The JT Lit Review, a literary blog. His work has appeared in The Arts Fuse, Fourth & Sycamore, Laurel Magazine, Boston Literary Magazine, and Liberty Island, among other publications. His first book of poetry, Scratching Lottery Tickets on a Street Corner, was published in 2018 by Finishing Line Press. @jonjosephbishop

Featured photo credit: Amanda Ollinik  @Allunderonemoon

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