Afterlight

Poem By Greta Bellamacina

We found out that Leonard Cohen died this morning
and the world was reminded about the poetry 
the pale domes of white light
all singing faraway from where we sleep

flame-shadowing gods everywhere
down the Tottenham Court Road
trapped up in treelight
lost in the light of the kitchen

you hold onto me and say 
where do they go, the torpedoing shadows that fill the world
where the moon tries to draw closer and touch love,  
but doesn't quite make it through the fog. 

how death could be the only way to reunite
and return to music, and find a different kind of peace,
and again how the angels must have known already
without the intent of prayers

the long long afterlight
stored up in the day,
shattering the harshness of the blank world.
But still it rains at home.

Like you, poetry still haunts everyone
like the way we brought our baby home from the hospital
all blue and breathed up
covered in traffic, a swaying heaven ship

the new cold in the air of our flat
is gentle, a cradle of ships all resting
making the afterlight command
a nameless world, all static and in us

we all forgot to be homesick
unhurt by the thought of "paradise",
building empires in our heads
made-up of broken-up light keys

Existing in darkness,
held up by a phone torch
on a clouded verge
laden thin by the imperfection of tears

the belief in the unseen collection of shores
pulling us in, and making us mad again
walking near us, playing hell violins
But really moving us closer to our own need for love.

I have woken up in a window
and existed from both sides.
the morning is a train
the afterlife is a horse

lovedreamed
Riding, riding, the sky to the sky
in my hands, looking
and pulled up in the wilderness of the stars.

Arms wide open, so close
growing into the dark cupboard
a Hyacinyth stretching
out into the first daylight.

Comments about Afterlight

There are some really interesting images in this powerful writing about poetry, death, and afterlight. In particular, I have woken up in a window and existed on both sides, trapped up in treelight, and phone torch. This writing evoked a moodiness in me and made me strain to look for the poetry through the light; and again to think about Leonard Cohen. Thanks for sharing.


Rating Card

5 out of 5
0 total ratings

Other poems of BELLAMACINA

The Many Ways You Can Marry In ‘high Windows'

your arms are sunset sonnets
made of pavement oak
filling the rain passing

Black Under Heaven

everything lives unnerved
tiny cups and scissors hungover
lilies in heaven marching in glass on the table
our child arranging the sky, sleeping between the doorway