In Darkness, Robert Stout

four-gracesFour Graces, Romona Youngquist, 30 X 30, Oil

In Darkness


Mint and thyme and leeks behind my trailer office
seemed to leave their roots and try to fly. I frowned, book in my lap,
then leaned across the table, turned off lights. Sat down again
to listen to plants struggle with their roots.
In darkness, I remembered Diane saying I feel less alone.
It’s distances, I told her. The eye’s a tool that measures space
the mind defines by naming. Hands folded on her breasts
she watched me bend a tree limb, let it fly.
In darkness she repeated I feel softer.
Friends rise from the rooms around me.
Not distances, but time.

The ground seemed close. The growing things.
I pushed the trailer’s screen door open. Stepped cautiously.
Lay down. In darkness I repeated, waiting, wanting
growing things to move, mint and thyme within
to touch her. In darkness, I remembered
as we lay there, squirming, beasts with snarling faces
raced her screams to lights she needed.
Separateness she said is human. Some things can’t be shared.
I laughed. That night. Last night.
And in the daylight look and listen to the garden growing.
Trace the shape I left there.
Smell the spices. Close my eyes.

Robert Stout

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