“Mystery Light” by Alison Davis

Alison Davis


Have we finally become a visionless people?
We confuse self-combusting debris for stars and blame everything
on our earthly enemies. Sometimes the light is nothing
more than space junk burning up in the atmosphere. Restoration
takes many forms. An eclipse is also a story of molting.
The sky-gazing continues. Sometimes the visitors tell stories
of coyotes and votives and sobriety, whose light is the same
as its ugliness. They return from the faraway camps carrying baskets,
woven with light. The light is more than skin stretched over the surface
of a galaxy. The stories are less than the future on an old man’s tongue.
The earth is a house of stories and light.

from Poets Respond
March 26, 2023


Alison Davis: “The title of this poem, as well as one of its lines, is directly taken from an article about streaks of light that appeared over the Bay Area. Of course, we blamed it first on Elon Musk, but that is neither here nor there. I’m grateful to Iman Hassen for her windy first reading of this poem, which knocked all the lines loose and allowed me to rearrange them in freedom and in love.” (web)

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