Carl Phillips

Lighting the Lamps

I’ve bloomed twice in this life already.
Once, as a fever, in its blooming.

The second time—
                                        It was like when a raven unfolds
its blackery to its fullest span and, having risen,
glides now at that angle that suggests the glamour
of a thing stolen for a last chance—brief,
maybe, but at least resonant—at a life
that’s better. Doesn’t pattern require—to be seen
as pattern—not just repetition but, as well, eventually,
the interruption of it? As the shore
is the wave’s interruption? As mistake interrupts
what had shown no flaw? What I know
is the raven was never sorrow. Wasn’t—voiced,
or silent—the sign for it. It crossed the meadow. It
pulled its raven-shadow with it. It disappeared.