Twice First Light  

  1. New Born Horse

In winter before light it’s impossible
to guess what I’ll knock into next.
A lamp in the shape of a ship goes down,
its lightbulb in a short white passion.
I love the frail
tintinnabulations of a broken
bulb so appropriate for someone
walking through his own dark house.
There’s no not shivering
anymore than there’s not
ringing a bell in winter
without breaking its coat of ice.
My canary, uncovered in the kitchen,
starts its day-long distillation
of yellow and song. Along the shore
flags are going up. Before dawn,
the sea is never far off,
just across a stubbled field
where a new born horse rises
on its clattering nexus of legs.  

  1. Water Cold and Slow

In morning before light, lights
take on the second glow of second moons
above the rabbit-nose-pink of snow.
A young girl with her thermos filled
walks to the frozen pond with a broom
and skates that clack together, slung
over her shoulder from long laces.
Any mistake in her first ice figure must be held to, like jazz, a twice-
song; Ooh, I need you. Imagine living all day
in your first movements—turning on a light,
another. I would take her pure loneliness
of walking across an untouched field of snow,
the snow once melted, twice frozen,
nearly holding up under my weight.
All I have are these small incandescences,
the hands’ first pain of water
so cold and slow from the tap. 

–Dean Young