The lantern you carry
is your own body
of light and your beauty
is its constant glow
at which I dare not stare
for fear of being
shattered by its softness.
Instead you I glimpse
out the edge of my eye
where all miracles
remain as loose as clouds
and are not erased
by a collector’s itch
to own them to dust.
are only as bold as we entertain
our ghosts whose presence dares sharper
than any words they tried to bequeath us.
Yet their least song, half-remembered,
will revise itself as we continue
writing it with our every urge to sing
ourselves: there is no escaping
the shadow of their totem of silence
whose voice and stare, disinterested,
yet demand we sing on in the spirit
of brave flesh.
From “Gift of Screws” © Brian Chan