A Gathering of Light
The first poem for Anton
In your face, dark as midnight.
In the rasp of your voice
scratching against the distance
between us—oceans, cornfields,
years of never enough time.
In the hours we spent on the simple
pleasures—bowls of hot corn soup
from your favorite street vendor,
cold Friday night beer swallowed
under the stars, the crush of bodies
in a fête with music so ecstatic
it became our heartbeats.
In our sturdy drawbridge silences.
In the ocean days. In the restlessness of me,
my aching, endless reaching;
in the unsteady vessel of my dreams,
so slight against the waves that carried them.
In the way you were beacon, compass,
and harbor—marking the place
where home began, anchoring me
to the solid earth of your heart,
safe. In the earth now, your body.
In what must remain. In what must be
given over to memory’s safekeeping:
In the way the sky holds you, and shines.
Lauren K. Alleyne is the author of Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press, 2014). She holds an MFA in Poetry and a graduate certificate in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell University, and an MA in English and Creative Writing from Iowa State University. Alleyne’s fiction, non-fiction, interviews, and poetry have been widely published in journals and anthologies such as Women’s Studies Quarterly, Guernica, The Caribbean Writer, Black Arts Quarterly, The Cimarron Review, Crab Orchard Review, Gathering Ground, and Growing Up Girl, among others. Her work has earned several honors and awards, most recently the Picador Guest Professorship in Literature at the University of Leipzig, Germany, a 2014 Iowa Arts Council Fellowship, and a 2010 Small Axe Literary Award. Alleyne is a Cave Canem graduate, and is originally from Trinidad and Tobago. She is currently the Poet-in-Residence, and an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Dubuque in Iowa.