Dawn Comes
Josh Luckenbach

Dawn Comes

In the umbral hours I almost forget about the light
that separates things, but dawn comes quickly,
and once-obscure semblances take on distinct hues
and shapes—two deer in the grass, a neon traffic cone
where concrete for the new sidewalk hasn’t yet been poured.
Even the cicadas’ surround-sound whirring seems less
en masse now, more independent—each stridulation
and tymbal vibration isolated and easily mapped:
this wing flick from the tree to my left,
that one straight ahead, this click higher, that one lower.
Shouldn’t morning’s tenor be opposite this? Shouldn’t hope
rise pink out of night’s melancholic dew? I keep wanting
to find a moral here, but that’s the problem with the image;
we want it to go beyond itself, and yet, only
the very thing itself gets to the heart of it—and ever to talk
about pathetic fallacy misses the point altogether.
The deer startle away from a rumbling truck, thunder
beats its cosmic kettledrums through distant mountains,
and lightning cuts venous against the sky’s orange.
What is such far-flung stirring if not the same unrest
that beckoned me, in the dark, from under sheets,
wide-eyed and hours ago?

Josh Luckenbach

has recently contributed to The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Nimrod, Birmingham Poetry Review, New Ohio Review, and other magazines. He received his MFA from the University of Arkansas, and he currently serves as managing editor for Iron Horse Literary Review.