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About this Poem 

“Looking east from a porch in Coxsackie, New York, I was thinking about Aram Saroyan’s poem ‘lighght’ and wondering what if anything can come after such a flash of insight and wit. The sun started spilling out just then, over the top of the Berkshires on the far side of the river.”

—Tom Thompson

After Lighght

Tom Thompson

Look, I’ve already ruined it
or it’s ruined me.
The dawn I see by doesn’t need me
like I need it
and any extra letters it brings.

What we call mountains
is a deep violet strip
narrowly rising and falling over the green.
You might call them clouds
and be right

or hand me something crisp
call it money or flowers
and set it alight.

Copyright @ 2014 by Tom Thompson. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on June 25, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Tom Thompson. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on June 25, 2014.

Tom Thompson

Tom Thompson is the author of The Pitch (Alice James Books, 2006). He lives in New York City.

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agile founderings and piecemeal flotations.
The crowd constitutes a gravitational field

that slaps back at the ground, numbed
and maddened by ground’s constant suckling.

The crowd embodies a depression in fabric
more than an attraction. Its angled, arteried, fleet

 

poem
The police set about their work so tenderly! Like dolls built to simulate laughter. 
Like bells, they watch the space between themselves, not us. Its milky white. 

Their whos and wherefores have been smudged for our enchantment.  Once-upon-
their-bodies steamed good and stiff right into those ruffled blackcoats