Today's poem is by Bruce Bond
Empire of Light
After René Magritte
It's the lantern that we look to most,
there in the shape of a man with his dark hat
and radiant head, his arms cut short,
his face to the house that has no door,
or none we see, save the one the light
creates, as if the lamp were at the threshold
of its own design, however blind,
having walked this far in its sleep, alone.
It casts its blush against the closed eyes
of the shutters, against the gap between
their shades where the color warms
with the same soft fire we see in one
room still awake, in the distant corner
where someone lives or not, impossible
to tell, where some figment of our making
reads beneath a lamplight of her own.
The somnambulist knows what it is
to walk where it is neither day nor night
but both at once, as in the black tower
of these branches against the lullaby
blue of broad day, a sky-light that has no
answer in the mirror of the lake below.
The only fire there is the blurred coals
of window and lamp, the inverted
figure of our sleeper who lies face-down
in the clash of ember against water.
To be both awake and asleep, is this
not one version of the afterlife,
trailed as we are by our own reflection,
to knock on the door that is no door,
and through the force of our own light, to enter.
Copyright © 2010 Bruce Bond All rights reserved
from Southwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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