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The William Gilmore Simms Prize

Terri McCord

The Light: List

The Light

                   "We are hardwired as humans

                     to love light."
                     —Photographer Matthew Rolston

Is it because it lolls around
us, creates a natural frieze?
Breaks through shadows and blinds
to imprint designs sometimes
in the loveliest of places
across the eyes, the plump of the lip—
what is next to      is dark.
Is it the heat or the illumination?
These are fair.
I wonder if we know
all our lives we are trying to bribe
a savior. We have looked the other way
when we heard go toward the light—
we would rather be in the dark
on that one. The invention of fire
was brilliant, splices of light like cut collage
papers or broken mirror pieces
that can flatter or warm—
show us to infinity. I see the light
at the back of your throat,
the uvula, your tongue a train
in the tunnel. Yes,
my leitmotif is beauty
beauty at every end.

The Light: Text
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