Eating Poetry (XXI) – Occasionally A human being Saw my light

by A. Jay Adler on August 28, 2010
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Florine Stettheimer, Soiree, 1917-1919
Beinecke Library, Yale University

Occasionally
A human being
Saw my light
Rushed in
Got singed
Got scared
Rushed out
Called fire
Or it happened
That he tried
To subdue it
Or it happened
That he tried to extinguish it
Never did a friend
Enjoy it
The way it was.
So I learned to
Turn it low
Turn it out
When I meet a
stranger—
Out of courtesy
I turn on a soft
Pink light
Which is found
modest
Even charming.
it is protection
Against wear
and tears…
And when
I am rid of
The Always-to-be-
Stranger
I turn on my light
And become
myself.

Florine Stettheimer

Florine Stettheimer, c 1917-20
Columbia University, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

(H/T Christine Cariati at Venetian Red & Maureen Doallas at Writing Without Paper)

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