Site icon Read A Little Poetry

Clear Night by Charles Wright

Header PostFeaturedImage 12
MARGINALIA • SKIP TO THE POEM

1.
Just checking in, writes J., one evening. To see if I’m okay. To see if I’m still alive. Maybe.

2.
Too many people to grieve these days. One of them is myself although I don’t know exactly why I’m on the list. I just am.

3.
I am alive—I guess—. Emily Dickinson in my head, but without the affirmation in the end.

Clear Night
Charles Wright

Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky.
Moon-fingers lay down their same routine
On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys.
Bird hush and bird song. A cassia flower falls.

I want to be bruised by God.
I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out.
I want to be stretched, like music wrung from a dropped seed.
I want to be entered and picked clean.

And the wind says “What?” to me.
And the castor beans, with their little earrings of death, say “What?” to me.
And the stars start out on their cold slide through the dark.
And the gears notch and the engines wheel.

[expand title=”Endnotes” tag=”h6″ expanded=”true”]

This poem appeared in Country Music: Selected Early Poems by Charles Wright, published by Wesleyan University Press, 1982. Shared here with profound gratitude.

Read more works by Charles WrightFind books by this poet • Or view my library

Explore poems in pursuit of: questionsthe deep darkwhat is holy • Or browse the index

[/expand]

[expand title=”Dear Reader” tag=”h6″]

This little corner of the world is my passion project since 2005. My commitment is that it will always remain free to all. If this place holds meaning for you, would you consider supporting it? This can be in the form of a cup of coffee (+ other ways).

Note that Read A Little Poetry may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through any links on this site. It is at no additional cost to you and helps in the upkeep of this space.

Thank you for being here all these years—and into the future—as I hold poets to the light.

[/expand]

Exit mobile version