Featured in Colorado Review
The Light from Certain HousesPoetry
Published Summer 2017
Heaven enough, I said, but the door wouldn’t close.
The light kept coming, impenetrable light,
the light from just before a paradise,
the light certain mornings choose to gift us
when we are waking, fractured, incomplete,
the light these hues church windows grant their saints,
or in the street, rainbows smear after storms.
lf this were music, it would break the ears.
lf this were touch, it would macerate the flesh.
lf this were habit, it would crave a fix.
If sex, my body would disappear in ash.
But it is only the unasked for come again,
the door a prayer will open now and then
and as I sing this—are you still here?—
begins to close. Closing, it’s closed, I know.
And my own darkness illuminates its memory.
Peter Cooley has published nine books of poetry and his tenth, World without Finishing, will be published by Carnegie Mellon in 2018. He is Senior Mellon Professor in the Humanities and director of creative writing at Tulane University and Louisiana Poet Laureate.