Issue 9

Autumn 2013


Broken Sunlight

Something isn’t right, she finally said,
But I can’t tell you what I think is wrong.
His posture showed he hadn’t understood,
but he was not the sort to lose his head –
and if he were, he’d waited way too long.
She left as if she meant to leave for good.

So there, amid the kitchen’s early gloom,
he breakfasts on espresso for his nerves
and watches, while the beveled glass appears
to break the sunlight glittering through the room,
the icy drops on awnings’ scalloped curves
that grow until they droop like fattened tears.

Hunched, crossed arms on uncrossed knees,
he thinks about those liquid points of light
that hang as if it’s they who need to think –
how, slowly bulged with brightness, each one frees
itself in tiny flashing bursts of white
that prism through the glass and make him blink.

And, blinking at those droplets’ rainbowed streaks
that leave, as she left, neither note nor trace
besides a little flash in a brightening sky,
he sits with tear-shaped shadows on his cheeks
and broken sunlight streaming down his face
and still, with all that help, he does not cry.



Marcus Bales