- Other children, when I was a child,
- would at times invoke the inner light—
- I misunderstood.
- I thought it meant God scorches
- within us, and God, like a torch,
- can go out. That was so long ago.
- I’ve since ceased my believing in death—
- there’s no such thing.
- There’s only a kind of brownout,
- the whole of the globe turning
- off for a moment, then shuddering
- back, the same as it was,
- except one person short.
- And then before long, an utter new
- person is born. Somebody worse.
NATALIE SHAPERO is Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University and an editor at large of the Kenyon Review. Her poetry collections are Hard Child and No Object.