The Blackout


The Northeast Blackout of 2003 was
apparently the largest one in North America.
But really, the largest blackout hit the day you left.

So when my earth science professor tells me
that time probably doesn’t exist in the South Pole,
that years are split down the middle
like trees struck by lightning between
whole days of light and dark, I tell him
I know how it feels. That I have struggled to teach myself
how to cover my ears without my hands
for the days when your absence ends in exclamation points
instead of parenthetical remarks,

that there aren’t days
I don’t think of how easy it is for us
to lose things in the dark.

Ask me what I want to be.
And I will swear to you I want to spend my life writing
you poetry in alphabet soup. Truth is,
I’d much rather be a cartographer because
then I’d be able shrink the world until
both ends of the country could
be stitched together into hugs on every map.

Every fraction of my body spells out the truth:
so if you ever were to mount my stained cheek cells
on microscope slides,
it’d be clear why missing you
has always been my least favourite hue.

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