Meaning Light

(an etymology)

In the land I was born,
there is an island in the middle of a river.
There is a name for the amount
of beauty required to launch a ship.
On a boat's mast or on a steeple-
a luminous charge of electricity during a storm.
Yes, it is the type you can hear
like the sound of a wrong answer.
Yes, it will burn.

The youngest of three daughters,
I was never taught the art of replacement.
What is first lost when it rains
or when a sailor dies:
Two of a light bulb or me, a small moon.
It was said to be like raising wolves,
except one did not belong on an island
and had trouble focusing
unless it was night.
The beautiful, an operetta.
It was the same one who saw music
as colors, but wrote in white ink.

Whatever was a piano then is a poem now.

Helene Achanzar is a Kundiman Fellow and an undergraduate student at the University of Iowa. She procrastinates at www.heleneiswaiting.blogspot.com (heleneiswaiting@gmail.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761