Charlotte Innes: “Preceding Darkness”


You settle for simply looking through the open window at the pale blue flag of the sky preceding darkness and the washed-out blue of the few flowers on a neighbor’s unwatered hedge. Nearby, as if from the air, a man is playing guitar and singing in Spanish. He’s filling your bedroom stillness with such sweetness, like the coffee with icing sugar you drank as a child. On the street below, two men start testing a car alarm. It whoops and whoops. And then, the tiny hard-edged click of a beer can pulled open.

Charlotte Innes is the author of Descanso Drive (Kelsay Books, 2017), a first book of poems, and two chapbooks, Licking the Serpent (2011) and Reading Ruskin in Los Angeles (2009), both with Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in various magazines, including Hudson Review, Sewanee Review and Rattle, as well as anthologies such as Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Beyond Baroque Books, 2015), The Best of the Raintown Review (Barefoot Muse Press, 2015) and The Best American Spiritual Writing for 2006 (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), amongst others.  She has written on literary topics for the Los Angeles Times, The Nation and other publications.

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