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Black and White

In the darkness there is light

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Where did the light go? Needing the year to turn, you yearn in the dark for our Festival of Lights.

Dead of winter is upon you. Moonlessness. You find yourself losing yourself pitch-black without a search light, search warrant, search party. No reading light, no nook. No flashlight, not even a firefly.

Then, astonishment—the candle! Hope flickers: a great miracle happened here! Finally, promise of sunrise, when baby blue meets princess pink, and lemon chiffon morning bursts through.

Splendor! Day breaks, breaks your fractured heart open. Listen: you can hear it. The thunder crack of dawn splits open that relentless night.

Joy again! Light glitters, sparkles, twinkles, bedazzles. Let there be light, and there was light, a genesis. One random morning, you startle yourself singing in the shower.

But night, that guillotine, can fall again. It will.

Dark behind your velvet eyelids, dark inside your vacant cluttered skull, dark inside your body where only one person gets to live.

Unable to write, absolutely nothing to say, that blinking cursor on that blank page, that poised pen writing nothing. Wordlessness.

It has no name; throw images at it. You, the bulls-eye of the charging black rhino. You, the most wanted on your own black list. You, the boot-black groveling at your own scuffed feet. Divorced from yourself, with no custody of your whimpering inner child. A blackout of the spirit, total outage of spiritual power.

Yet: this human experience truly is black and it is white. Dappled, striped, speckled. Zebras, yin and yang, piano keys, black and white saddle shoes, steaming deer droppings in the snow, your little black dress with white polka-dots, penguins, skunks, black-and-white cows standing drenched in the rain, black-faced white sheep huddling soaked, New York black-and-white cookies. And these ink-black words on this previously white page!

Rita S. Losch is a poet who lives in Santa Rosa.

Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write openmic@bohemian.com.

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