When It Was Always Dark (poem by Mark Bibbins)

The Cortland Review

This poem is so beautiful, I had to share it.


Even porch lights that made gold of the grass
are lost,
and those birds that stitched across the moon—
not birds, something

No, do not think angels.

hands over flashlights—who wants them now?
And what could shine its
way again,
so easily, through these fingers?

assembling in a cool, low place;
birches nodding against one
though there was no breeze.

However long we waited, it was
only to fill hours with waiting.
All we took with us on
our way,
all we have wept
at being unable to

Something pressed into a hand,
no beloved thing,
but sweet—
small, and hard as luck is to arrange.
Full with love—what
else could fit in its place?
Someone once said
And nothing. That

A hand on the curtain—whose—and who saw?
There is no
one to tell
of our dark animals—of how we made
from the sky
whatever light allows.


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