OLD LIGHT OF STARS
I am not the person in the wool vest,
nor violets nodding in a cluster by front steps.
I am not that child
in the memory of the black-haired girl
whose mother’s stomach bled
as the ambulance took her away.
I am no street or house or row of poplars.
I am not hands stacking firewood,
stealing an apricot, pushing a mower,
sorting laundry, stealing a swallow of Scotch.
I am not asleep outside the Baptistery doors
of Florence. I am not raspberries, nor sea salt,
nor the trail through sunned, prismatic snow.
I am not the finger held by an infant hand
nor a speaker of your language
nor a worshipper of any gold or God.
Not male, not female, not salmon,
bluestem, candle or glass. Not Italian.
Not internal combustion or nuclear power
or the opening of a columbine –
neither barley nor rosemary nor cilantro nor rice.
I do not sing or hum or see color
or touch any flame or fracture or argue
or sufficiently love. I am not enough.
I am not what happened.
I do not end here, was not born here,
nor do I walk home
under the old light of stars.
Lex Runciman has had poems published in Poetry East, Rufous City Review, New Verse News, The Gettysburg Review, and Windfall.