What to Do in the Totality

 

Place yourself in the path
watch shadows sharpen
wait for sun and moon to align.

Soon pattern will merge with matter
to beget a new creature.
See pupil and iris.

There will never be
another coronation
like this—

Rise as an owl
in the morning,
uncertain of your timing.

Stand in the dimming.

To your fear say: yes darling,
I see how dark it’s getting.
To the stars say: today is the day
we see you sparkling.

Mark the minutes
until light returns:
dappled, direct, and slant—
incandescent, unfiltered, and gallant.

What to do but let it play out?

If you grow cold
imagine yourself warm again
there’s a chance to love
like lunatics under this shadow.
Trace the moon in transit
chant until the sun returns.

See how it shines
now on your own skin?
Blink into it.
Behold the glory of litter,
adore the gleam of a garbage bin.

You know better than to stare.
Close your eyes to the imprint—

Blink twice
then bless the dark lesson.
See absence
see radiance.
Blink again.

~Nan Seymour

Your Prompt:
 
On August 21st, I plan to stand in the path of the totality as the moon obscures the morning sun. I wrote this in anticipation. What do you know of sudden shadows? Which stars have appeared for you during dark lessons? Set a timer for 11 minutes and write imperfectly about a past or impending darkness without knowing what you will say. Allow yourself to be surprised. Please share your imperfect moon-shadowed musings in the comments!

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