Summer solstice

Éireann Lorsung

          The cuckoo calls out in the evening, which extends nearly to midnight.

          In the garden, a recurrence of wind.

          Waiting all year, when the day arrives we regret it.

          From the year’s past the cantor sings, the people who walked in darkness

                    have seen a great light.

          Evening, as in, which smooths and makes even.

          The pale thin blue light, tinged with gold near the horizon.

          Which becomes morning. Which becomes evening.

          A recording has been circulating on the internet, babies crying in cages.

          In the desert, light appears as a flatness rendered on dimensional objects.

          Here in Flanders as the light goes west, I lie in bed.

          No landscape is innocent; still I hesitate to return exclusively

          to those landscapes of colonialism and genocide in which I grew up.

          All the flax along the roadway nodding in its sleep.

          The solstice is a mathematical assumption about light and time.

          Facts, unlike mathematics, confront us with distance.

          You drive into the mountains alone.

          The muscles in my neck spasm and I find I can barely move for 48 hours.

          Sunlight gathers into heat in Texas, and lies on the children in the camps.

          Light, born as energy, arrives here, and here, and here, until it touches

                    all our heres.

          A great light, the cantor sings, and the congregation returns it.

          Among the mountains, you lose yourself.

          The farmworkers lay down their tools late in the day.

          There is no migration light cannot make, or that we do not desire of it.

          It moves through time and space, beloved and democratic ghost.

          A photograph, like the one you post of the mountain, is only held light.

          There is heat among and upon us.

          Evening upon and between us.

          Come, babies, with your mothers and fathers and siblings: among the borderless

                    flax, at this borderless time of year.


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