after gloam

Shake the World

When I was thirteen, I wanted to shake
the world—make the stars fall into it.
I don’t think anybody saw beauty like I did:
light bulb reflections in my mother’s coffee mug,
sunlit dust motes suspended in the kitchen,
how if you squint your eyes at a streetlamp,
the light bursts in a hazy blur, vibrating
between your eyelashes in the cold night—
you can almost hear the hum. I remember
sitting on my bedroom floor, knowing
I was going to harness that light—
replace the world’s pupils with filaments,
encase the Earth in a glass bulb
and let everything inside glow.
If I could write something so unbelievably
beautiful, maybe everyone else would see it
as well. Now I am stunned, in the afterglow,
lingering in the gloaming,
staring after the last bit of light,
wondering where all that beauty went.