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  • In the brittle || light of winter,
    most days || I stare
    heliotropic || into the hole
    the little sun || makes in the sky
    where it glimmers || slung low and dim
    between houses, || and through
    denuded trees, || perched atop
    the afternoon's || too high horizon;

    and I hypnotize || myself, transfixed
    while I press up || from the flood
    and pluck light || from my
    half-closed || eyelashes.

    But not today. || I couldn't bear it
    and turned my back, || then hid between
    apartment blocks || exhausted.

    And yet || squinting up
    its tremulous || reflection
    sprayed down from where || it weakly splayed
    across an || office building's
    anodized expanse || of tinted glass.

    And what bled through || that sunlit slash
    to splash the sidewalks || all around me
    was the runny || yellow on yellow
    of another || afternoon
    thirty-eight || years away
    that seeped in through || a northern window
    to indelibly stain || the meticulous clean
    of late 70s || porcelain within
    grandmother's || private bathroom
    before a distant || Christmas Eve
    where once || a boy
    endlessly whispering || "I want to go home"
    was thrown hard || and upside down
    into an empty || amber bathtub,
    to be drowned || without consent
    without a sound || and all
    without the aid || of any water.

    And sun set, || and silence sworn
    a cold form || was left behind
    to straighten up || and drip back down
    the long hallway || and slip back within
    the shining egg || of family
    to reflect back || all their smiles,
    in the numbing ice || of its small face
    so everyone || could pretend
    nothing happened || and get through dinner.

    But on the street now || that swollen ghost
    crawling up || from some abyss
    --that prison || a memory makes—
    walks dumbstruck || across decades,
    winter upon winter, || solitary, unseen,
    to stare up || son to sun,
    hopelessly searching || from every shadow,
    longing for the warmth || of some new light
    to curl within || and call home.

    Image credit: Joe Shellard, via Flickr under the Creative Commons License
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