Forgiving the Darkness

Darkness is not a death, does not obliterate,
will not bury you or take your breath away.
Darkness will not erase you the way it erases day with night
because darkness is not the clock but merely the time
falling away from the clock's circular face.
Darkness is not the loss but the thing misplaced,
not the hammer but the nail in its curved emergence
from wood's grasp, not the storm's insurgence
but the limbs broken off from their miraculous
suspension in a storm out far, beyond us.
Darkness is not about hearts, imperfect as they are,
but what leaks through their incorrigible doors, not the stars
but the glissade or glide of their dust.
Darkness no longer shields the hunters' musk
in search of you, or turns you to animal prey,
it is only a measure of weight or days.
Not something without a beginning or an end,
it is not even—especially not—an end.
Nor is it vertigo, nor the whole, but merely a piece.
No, darkness is but a ghost of an idea, the least
remembered, most estranged prayer, and your fear
but a lingering, limbic fear torn from shreds of forgotten years.
Only that much is clear.

Alice B Fogel, "Unlocking" from I Love This Dark World. Copyright © 1996 by Alice B Fogel. Reprinted by permission of Alice B Fogel.
Source: I Love This Dark World (Zoland Books, Inc., 1996)
More Poems by Alice B. Fogel