Elegy: New Light

Benjamin Renne

When I think of how we’re going to die, I imagine
the sun, low and pale, a spent coal on the horizon.

The sun is wretched.
The sun                             
is wretched.

The sky                             
is wretched.           

The wet ground
is wretched.

The music                         

The word

The poem—


There is a bright hole in the sky
and where once hung a bright star hangs now only bright absence.

We weep fire in elegy, weep light like sweat.
We walk down through an empty dusk into the valley of Lament—

if only you
could fold
up this nighttime

blue sun, this
wretched blue sun

a song without
sun, without
morning, a song

without heat,
without mourning.

These ancient stars have burned for so long
that even the sky is seared with their afterimage.

The sun is a white naked stalk.

If you stare directly at the sun, you’ll gain new powers of sight.
If you think too hard about the sun, you’ll go blind—

thrown against
dust and heat
it swirls hot

and what remains
is new light, new

visions of gray
green dawns and
unfamiliar spectra,

new elegies