the night begins with sugar

Salt Lake City

here in our state of yes and smug
crystalline over mountains and horizon melt
such pretty clouds such drifting light

who is it enough for what kind of person
lives in this sweetness this clear
beauty and does not utter a single oh or no

or even I my hand clapped over my mouth my tongue caught by
what’s left in the right hand the dominant and clenched
what’s right in the left hand easily tossed

catching instead malaise a coma of indifference
swirling in our stunning vestibule
mourning the self just getting by

in a theocracy of pretense and defense
here in my state of smog and so what


Copyright © 2015 by Natasha Sajé. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 13, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem explores the disengagement of my civic-environmental voice in a gerrymandered state. The vestibule refers to the third canto of the Inferno, the place for those who wouldn’t take a stand.”
Natasha Sajé