Illumination Night

Summer ignites itself
Methodist style. Japanese 

paper lanterns Noguchi might have made
for Martha Graham’s last dance 

alight the campgrounds, set the island aglow
in pinks, oranges, yellows, fire-engine 

red awash. A crowd gathers to mingle, a child
may wander tonight 

in wonder the way gingerbread
cottages welcome her to their wooden railed porches, dare her 

to touch the gossamer skin
on their handmade firefly swarm, cracking paint on their rainbow eaves, beckon 

an unconscious desire to trace a piece
of island history with fingertips. Her grip on home

rice paper thin, she wants to believe
her step across these wooden planks will never end.  But 

as she witnesses this blaze of an island blasting its last August
shouts before a decrescendo toward an autumn whisper 

few hear, fewer comprehend, she knows she must relinquish
the island to return it to those who find 

illumination into night without
a lantern, without a tabernacle song.

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