when light falls everywhere at once: your hand,
the kitchen table, the street that carries you to work.
Light strives to be invisible: it mingles with the atmosphere,
turning oxygen into firmament, building contours of blue sky.
It disappears inside the prism of the ground, unearthing
yellow from banana, the magenta of the cup, the pavement’s grey,
yet leaves no trace upon the surface of a thousand things.
Made real by shadows, objects never do proclaim
the presence of the light; only matter
matters, nothing more.
To study light before it scatters, seek it in the hour
others give to sleep, before you steel yourself
against the boundaries firmed by day.
Go to a place that’s dim and still; listen
for the praise of rain and dew and all the winds,
of fire and heat of burning, blast of tempest,
hoarfrosts and snows, winter cold and summer heat,
every bodiless power that performs His word.
The windowpane, black and dead, comes alive
while you are not looking, quicker
than the pause between two breaths:
dark displaced by faintest silver, unannounced,
no edge that leads the eye to its beginning.
The brush of a transparent lip dissolves the glass
and slowly saturates the air in tones that deepen
without color—then for a single, blazing moment
light consumes the pale dimensions
of this insubstantial world.
~ Victoria Foth Sherry
Victoria Foth Sherry lives in Wichita and works for Eighth Day Books. She is an editor, book designer, songwriter, and a co-author of Wichita’s Lebanese Heritage.