In the dark times, will there also be singing?
Yes. There will also be singing. About the dark times. – Bertolt Brecht
You’ve been thinking about the gold rim
of a priest’s robe, a glimpse of light caught
while turning the pages of a book
about ancient Egypt.
You’ve been traveling with a headlight
in the backyards and bedrooms
of a sunken city, somewhere
near the center of the Mediterranean sea.
You’ve been feeling with trembling
fingers the volatile blue of a porcelain
tea set from Sèvres, lips so close to tasting
the chilled line between frail and strong.
You’ve been imitating the precise hands
that seamlessly assembled the idea
of nature in a shallow dish, and learned
how to pronounce ikebana.
You’ve been looking for beauty in the morning,
when the simple, oblique light invades the room,
you’ve been looking for beauty in the faces
of friends when they talked about beauty,
you’ve been looking for beauty when hatred
is somehow overcome by a passerby’s song,
you’ve been looking for beauty in the evening,
when all the trucks have passed and the boots
have stopped marching, and especially
when your breath finally melts
into the thickness of night.
This poem was previously published in Dime Show Review.
Marine Cornuet is a French-born poet living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work can be found in Handsy Lit, Yellow Chair Review, and Cactus Calamité.