a national online publication of woodbury university

Jill Alexander Essbaum

Civil Twilight

What’s left of the last light’s been locked out.
Like a bell-booked wraith that’s blocked

from the chapel, it haunts each edge of this purlieu
in exile, a plight that the sky won’t resign to.

And dusk’s hazel eye can’t be trusted. What’s
near appears distant, while things remote are

fictive. Your kindness comes off as vindictive. And
sunsets are always ill omens, for what isn’t illumed

is unknown. When mourning stars are evenings
out, night arrives with a cataleptic halt. Baths,

then battle lines are drawn. I don my darkest
shadow as the blue hour blackens, burns. And

beg you to return.

Photo Credit: Scott Larsen
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