untitled / re; ben franklin, impotence

by essayan hart

the day the lights went out
i wished i had spent more time
learning to convert seawater
and less time
learning to read
ancient texts
in foreign languages

the day the lights went out
i imagined crowds at the airport
realizing they may never again
surf the waves in sydney, in peru
never experience
that one tentative moment
of surrender

i lit a candle
and collected my tools
for survival
knowing they weren’t enough
and that they were more
than most people had

i walked to the window
and watched for familiar faces
congregating at the dispensary
looking for a little solace
so temporary

the day the lights went out
i imagined the astrologer
setting down the tools of her trade
half smiling
and terrified

i willed her close to me
because i, like her
was not surprised
and yet i shivered

at my post