Flickering Rooms This bittersweet singularity. Low light gives an appearance of candles. Short days, long nights. The crowd sings alone with full orchestra. Last chutes of sun are—gone without knowing, like tin whistles barely able to hide sadness; gone to southern lines drawn across maps of warm water; and gone too is the color green except the fields of winter grass. But here in flickering rooms we paint our words with bright colors to cast-out minor spirits. Short days, long nights— the twirl of ages. Where the town turns to field is a moving target like breathing or weather, the clouds come and leave like all the mass of everything that ever was and combined with the restless seed of beating hearts and living. People say that life hits a wall as the lights go out, but it flows down like water to somewhere else. The pools—each has a face, each in small places, a skin that keeps all souls separate and blood that flows lonesome —were once part of an ocean so small as to be one place, one thought, one word. Just look at them now, everywhere. Short days, long nights give the illusion of a pause before utterance. But only nothing pauses.
L. Ward Abel’s work has appeared in Rattle, The Reader, The Istanbul Review, The Worcester Review, The Honest Ulsterman, hundreds of others, and is the author of three full collections and ten chapbooks of poetry, including Jonesing For Byzantium (UK Authors Press, 2006), American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012), Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (erbacce-Press, 2016), The Rainflock Sings Again (Unsolicited Press, 2019), Floodlit (Beakful, 2019), and The Width of Here (Silver Bow, 2021).