Reading in the Dark

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 2/22/08

Love — a word which prompts scarlet and vermillion
And certain intensities of orange to swim out
Of the darkness at the strange edge of sleep,
And brings with it the remembrance of a moment
When even a cloudy sky is impregnated
By the rich pallor of a hidden moon, silk vapors
Swirling with alphabets for the blind,
Whose letters are feelings and colors, the comfort
Of another’s skin when we are helpless without
That touch, the sudden gust of an animal presence,
Eyes in the woods from some creature
Whose authenticity will never flinch from birth
To death, but is always the embodiment
Of the instant and of the giant birthing movements
Of the weather, frost and heat, sunbursts
And gloom, and wind potent with the breath
Of forests and oceans. We rise in that word,
And sit on the edge of the bed, our hearts full
Of that one sound and of all of its fecundity
Of calm. Some of us, drowned in the drenching
Lightness of that syllable, will even feel in its
Embrace the intimacy of an untamed Deity,
The God or Goddess whose faithfulness
Has never wavered nor ever been belittled
By doubt. Why should we question it, him, her,
Now? This fullness is irresistible. Although, sitting here,
On the edge of the bed, we are tremulously aware
Of our vulnerability. No matter, the scarlet and the black
Will have their way, and this word that is too much used,
Will take us home.

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