Start Here, Find Yourself There 

“Thought is only a flash between two long nights,

but this flash is everything.” —Poincaré

There is a darkness, you know, this darkness,

I think, have seen and sat through it 

before, been taught its ways—

been tempted

but never mind that, we swivel our hearts 

towards fallen snow, birds in flight, 

and from what, exactly? Exactly.

It is the word you look for 

but never find, not even 

on the last day

does it come to you

and that’s alright, surely, 

who could bear to have the word

one looked for all one’s life, 

so naked and unadorned

and right there, quivering, unsheltered 

it’s like what they say of kindness—

it’s a warrior’s mood, we know this,

don’t we know this? There is a darkness 

everywhere. Why pretend 

we’re better than we are? That’s the wrong

question. Why insist on being so

terrible, everyday, to each other? Exactly. 

Our eyes follow the winter birds like escape-stalkers 

but their flight away from us says nothing and the darkness is always

just there, yea though we strain through it for that one 

undark and beautiful word, a light-feed at the dry breast of time, 

but never you mind. It’s never been about what you find 

here, to sustain you. It’s always the other way around. We,

are found.

We Don’t Last, But The feeling Does

and it goes like this

as a river wrapped round 

its only course

ask not why the light 

has never found you

just push at the dark

like a root sensing water 

and from below

you know 

it goes like this 

our loved ones die out like stars

but still they are hanging there in the sky

like Orion’s stitch work of time 

and if not for loss,

something else

have you asked your body 

where it goes 

while you sleep

dream, gentle weep 

have you

come here to collect 

your greatest hopes 

and feed them to your fears 

I am telling you 

we are always dancing on the edge

of everything that can’t be 

stilled, gutted, explained, 

or remain 

but that for a while,

oh my god—

we were here 

and we were burning with it:

this light

In a world so often low on kindness, James Diaz is just trying to refill that tank. Poetry is that imperfect medium. Author of two full length poetry collections, This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018) and All Things Beautiful Are Bent (Alien Buddha, 2021), Diaz resides in New York, still trying to very much figure things out.

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