Light Emitting Diode
    Thomas Bolt  
  To walk up to the roof and look away
Over the city, nightfall in the air,
Lights coming on in rooms;

To give away
Everything you have and build again
Also to give away

Is all we do—no roof, no job, no jar,
No document, no blossom, no embrace
Can keep back what is moving and must move.

Black horseshoes cut omegas in a path
Of heavy clay; the crisp
Impressions, filling with themselves,

Slacken and smooth to nothing. Yet a path:
Memory. Something distant blinks.
A light goes off; a radio left on

In an empty apartment plays. (Suppose
A residue of all this loss
Provides a kind of medium, a silt

That gathers for growing things?)
Our music [static] plays into the night,
Given away like starlight.

To give away, to keep, to give away—
Burn densely at the center sun
Now won on no now won,

A galaxy left on
In an empty apartment,
Whirling, while a tinny commercial plays....

We suffer through this transit
And become, becoming
What we fail to wish for. Burn.

We are abstractions, as if the infinite
Had to eat, hold down a day job, ride the bus.
Things flash from trembling windows as we pass,

Thinking to give away, to keep, to give away;
Abstractions enter us and make us real
As matter makes space:

Life happens all around. It happens now,
Is yours
To give away, to keep, to give away,

And nothing to keep of time.


"Light Emitting Diode" first appeared in The Yale Review.

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"Light Emitting Diode" copyright (c) by Thomas Bolt. All rights reserved.