Let there be darkness: a poem

Painting by Francesco Borzani

Painting by Francesco Borzani

I breathe and I live

It is but a small step towards my grave

A beautiful mirror that most may miss

Would there be a south, if there was no north

Would there be a west, if there was no east

If there was no darkness, would I know light

Would I stare in wonder at the sunset bowing to the night

Would I know love, if there was no hate

If there was no war, could I welcome peace

Would I know joy if there was no sadness

Happy are those in pain, they say

For they will see Heaven,

Happiness, an illusion

Laugh, sing, dance, and be gay

Just the absence of pain

How would life be if there was no death

Would I postpone today until eternity

Would I desire dying if there was no last breath

So today I will declare

Let there be darkness so I can embrace the light

I will befriend pain, so I know when I feel joy

You can hate me so I can find love

I will tango with death so I can live today, as if it were my last



  1. Lovely poem. It’s not about suicide, but I can’t help thinking about it as I read it. My attraction to suicide is much like being attracted to a sexy woman with ex-boyfriend baggage and daddy issues. She’s tremendously beautiful, but that baggage is bigger turn-off than a cold shower. It’s better keeping her at a distance, just so that I can see her, but not get too close. This may make you nervous (it often makes me nervous—I’ve read the research on suicide), but I feel like I’ve been doing this for 26 years. And I’ve lived for 26 years with being attracted to real women wearing real spandex athletic gear, and not gotten close enough to flirt (and hopefully, not obvious as I glance at their camel toe).

    I love this word “camel toe” because I learned it from my 18 year old daughter. That’s the kind of relationship we have. The kind I love and live for. I was dropping her off for church one Sunday and I noticed that her leggings were giving her a bit of a front wedgie.

    “Dear, would you want me to tell you if your fly were unzipped?”
    I asked.
    “Yeah,” she said, looking confused.

    “Well, you’re leggings are a bit awkwardly clingy in the front.”

    She looks down. “Oh, a camel toe. That is awkward,” she said as she fixed herself and got out of the suburban. “See you in an hour!”

    I had to Google the word “camel toe” to understand. It’s obvious once you do. And there is a whole soft-porn industry build on pictures of camel-toes. The fact that someone made up this word to describe this common embarrassing phenomena is awesome.
    My life is delightful in so many respects. That dangerous liaison called suicide can’t compete.


    1. Suicide is boring. I was thinking more of the power of opposites. Without this conflict we would be nothing.
      Download urban dictionary app if you haven’t already.
      And I’m thinking of blogging your response!!


      1. Suicide is boring until your loved one is attracted to her, or you feel the despair. Then she’s a bitch.
        Yes, I have urban dictionary. It and Rap Genius (now just Genius). They are the Rosetta Stone to my life.
        My response IS blogged, but as a comment!


      2. I can always annotate your response. I’ve encountered suicide and death. I’m not sure it matters how you go…you go…in the end.


  2. Please feel free to quote, rewrite, and otherwise steal from me. We are whores, you and I. We take words where ever we can get them. We enjoy turning tricks, using the same words and thoughts night after night, shamelessly. You are not a writer unless you whore words. And whore thoughts. Whoring thots, on the other hand, is different, but surprisingly similar to what we do. We expose ourselves, we give ourselves, our very insides, for other’s pleasure. We are thots whoring thoughts. Nice, huh? Clever word play is not similarity to clever sex play (at least for me).

    When I hit a phrase just right, a poem in a sentence, I have a sort of post-coitus satisfaction. I feel a quiet joy as I lie close to the words, caress them, run my eyes over them, inspecting every letter, every jot and tittle, every serif. And then I write again. And again. And again. You don’t know how I am. I’m insatiable.

    And, as you know from my email, I seem to be loving the word “whore” now. At least I’ve gotten past my love of the word “incandescent,” which spontaneously appeared nearly every other day in my writing. Even whores get tired of the same thing day after day. I don’t think i’ll ever get tired of the connection between sex and writing. Both are too intimate and honest to separate.And one I can do at work!


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