Think of it this way: not blackout, but blindspot like a bare bulb
hung from the ceiling, the light growing outward till it’s complete,
not even the burning twist of filament discernable.
Or this: a well of light opening inside me.
I take with me only sky moving over the valley, rolling cloudburst.
The hill of white vetch where I first searched for you,
but saw nothing.
For everything, a price.
How to see through furious summer light, reflective and blinding,
except with your whole body? Already, my vision a humming whiteglow,
the world backlit like a negative.
And my skin alive as eyes.
Soon, clouds over vetch will be not moving white and shadowed ground
but a soft, skimming pressure, a drawing chill like silk,
and the sundown dark a taste on the air like tealeaves.
The haptic life comes like waking:
a hand ghosting along my collarbone, your breath
like finger-raked velvet. The smooth pale of your skin.
So close I’ll never see anything else.
Erinn Batykefer earned her MFA from the Creative Writing Program at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she was the Martha Meier Renk Poetry Fellow. She also served as the Stadler Poetry Fellow at Bucknell University, and her first collection, Allegheny, Monongahela (Red Hen Press, 2009) won the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Prize. Her poems and creative nonfiction have appeared widely in such journals as FIELD, Fugue, Blackbird, and Gulf Coast. Erinn holds an MLIS from the School of Library & Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is co-founder and editor of the Library as Incubator Project , an internationally-known website that facilitates collaborations between libraries and artists and advocates for libraries as important incubators for creativity. In 2014, Library Journal named Erinn a Mover & Shaker for her work. Erinn is the Programming Librarian at New Canaan Library in Connecticut.