Reasons of Dark
Living like I did,
eating what I could,
a can of beans, a loaf of bread,
I came to know
that hawks are hawks
out of hunger and the crickets
chirp in August out of lust.
I turn on a lamp
only for reasons of dark.
Midday and the moon
call me. Love, my love,
moves that way,
Chopin nocturne in the bayou
of my heart for you,
who makes me see
I’m no hunger monger.
The slow drip of the faucet
is a sign, a waking,
and paint enough
to cover in white
the walls of my wanting.
The sun is blasting through the window
like a horn of light and it (or he? or she?)
corrects my mood, infects me with hope
(hope mother of love and spring). Snow
has no dominion, having turned to gray
kernels in the corners of the parking lot,
winter’s broken smile curling into nothingness.
A man wearing thick glasses looks up:
Ah, blue. Boo to the sordid, slapping wind.
He must be thinking of love–how the sun
awakes in him a memory, having already
eaten his lunch–and maybe his wife, maybe
his lover. He sees a stranger take off
her coat. She’s a monkey, hair on her chest
and a chummy smile. This happens
often on my block, beautiful women
turn into simians, men become paralyzed
by absolute imperatives. I wanted to say
when this poem began that I love you,
I wanted to undo years of reticence
under the moon when things begin to swarm
and the worms burrow out of the earth
and you’re blinking on and off your desire.
Pablo Medina is the author of several poetry collections. The Foreigner’s Song: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming in September 2020. He has also published novels, translations, and a memoir. He is on faculty at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and lives in Vermont.