Light Pollution

by Barbara Yauss 



Sorry darlin maybe another night 

my papa said to me but toward the sky.

His clouded corneas concealed from him

all that he would have pointed to and named:


Ursa Major, The Milky Way, the city lights

muddying our view.

He sees none of this, the world light-less,

the sky: a blackboard, teaming with 


erasure—a lesson 

he didn’t know he was teaching

on loss, on parallax, on how much

time we don’t have.


A lifetime from now, how little 

will be left for us to see?

I know I can’t help but look 

at what’s buried instead of what’s left—


the cataracts growing thicker

over our night dome. Human light erasing 

away at the edges, pulling heavy at our pupils. 

We mean to look 


to the stars and feel small, but instead 

see the absence on the horizon

and feel smaller.


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