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"A Poem for Nakachi"



Look at this light
this handful of light
I found it last night
when the bars were closed
and only cabbies and cops
prowled the streets
Look, Nakachi
I found it in the parking lot
next to the Greyhound station
where I park sometimes
and wait for things to happen
It was just sitting there
between a Dodge Omni
and an old Cadillac coupe
And at first I thought
some angel must have dropped it
(you know how angels are --
always dropping things
always leaving things
misplacing things...)
But then I thought, No
Not here, not now
Not at four in the morning
when all I know is waiting
So I looked around
saw no one
and picked it up
carried it home like some secret
and set it on a high shelf
in my closet
away from the cats
and wondering eyes
No, it doesn't burn
Touch it
It feels like light should feel
like a heart
No, like a star
It tickles
Poke your finger inside
Wriggle it around
See?
Makes you smile, don't it?
I've been smiling since I found the thing
and when I slept last night
I dreamed of space and flying
It scared me a little
all those stars and planets
all that acceleration
I'm not a speedy man these days
I've slowed down considerably
these past five years
Hey, you want it?
Take it
Take it home, play with it
Close your eyes and dream
No, really
One night of light was enough for me
Too much, probably
And to be honest
I'd just as soon not dream of stars again
It only makes me wonder
why it took so long
to find a thing I thought I wanted
but gave up on years ago

(c)Michael Stephens



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