Click here to listen to Terri Witek read this poem.
... the limit at which ... illumination is sufficient, under good weather conditions, for terrestrial objects to be clearly distinguished.
—U.S. Naval Observatory
At 6° under speak only with kindness. At 12° trust buoys to gather the port. At 18° swing doubt through its usual cold orbit. Let a scratch in a song be love's cough in the dark.
Who arched the bridge to this island of flare-ups?
Which is the key to the hotel of dismay?
Nests blunt the junctions between river and ocean.
I suppose we have done with our mutual heat.
As horizons melt into more vivid disclaimers
or choose from a shoreline's stubbed-out streets,
let go the gold ways you thought nothing then nothing.
Think nothing forever when you get to my name.
Terri Witek's most recent book of poems is Exit Island. She holds the Sullivan Chair in creative writing at Stetson University.
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