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Erica Moffitt
The Soul's Equation of Light

The Soul's Equation of Light

the bat flies in circles—
dark paperbag wings stretched
like broken umbrellas caught
in dizzy updrafts

a restless, impatient stir
calls quarters to witness
around the garden
where carnations, japanese irises
and wild roses sticky with scent
have long bloomed and gone
now choking from july's red welts
and black widow kisses

on this night with midnight past
songbirds still spill their knife-pure notes
their shapes invisible in the maples
and myrtles just now exploding
into tangled fits of bloom
a subtle magic distills
in the thick night air:
there is light where none should be
crouching like dryads in the secret places
in the foliage
in the cool shadows that hold
root memory

lazy cartwheels of light tumble
in the brush
in this hour of illusion
i feel that i could look up
and see the sun's first shimmer—
a pale citrus slice dripping in the east
but it is only a feeling, a reaction,
logical and Pavlovian

no, i can't accept that:
it's a faerie glamour blurring
linear reality
pulling me into the otherworld
or a strange physics visiting
from some poppy-red dimension

the bat disappears and reappears
through the pecan trees slapped black
against the cobalt glass of the sky
a silent echo of the air—
molasses mermaid swimming
with schools of fireflies scattered
into random sparks of chartreuse ekstasis

the songbirds spill their honeysilk ribbons
in the wine-dark night
the antithesis of reason—
the soul's equation of light

Poet's Biography:
  "The Soul's Equation of Light" is Erica's first published poem. A college student from Lexington, NC, she is majoring in English Literature and hopes to teach Southern Women's Literature someday. Writing, for her, brings her into harmony with the universe.

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