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by Naomi Thiers

Song in the Dark

Will you take all my youth, yank out
every pearl, leaving me stunned, mouthing
a garbled message in the dark?

How many friends of my heart
are dead now, or their bold strokes dimmed
(by you) to faded things flailing in the dark?

How can my tired spirit find companions
like that again, bright sisters
to laugh me through this falling dark?

My tarnished body will never
gleam like the ingot it was, to lure someone.
No. So, am I shelved, a box in a dark

basement corner no one goes to?
No one sees two faint glows—eyes.
I’m still looking out, singing softly in the dark,

for I must make noise or be buried,
must daub on color or be taken for a dead tree.
If I walk lightly, you can’t catch me, your dark

cold hand will close on nothing, stayed
one more day. I’m buttoning my striped sweater,
now, finding earrings. It’s a cold evening, dark

by five, but I can walk to the park. I see
an acquaintance there sometimes. There’s that busker
I like. I’ll clap for his harp in the early dark.

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