WHY NOT THE SUN?
Sure, the poet tips his hat to the sun’s heat,
and the sustenance it provides —
all so functional,
but consider our infatuation with the moon:
attributing love and romance and mystery,
when in truth, it is just a dead rock
hanging out in space, and a poor imitation,
its own light a blind reflection,
which might be why we identify with the moon,
everything within and around us having come
from the stars — the earth and the moon,
our eyes and the hair in our lashes,
our bones and our beating hearts.
Look around and you see the sun
everywhere — in the budding peony,
and the ants filing through its petals,
in waves of fluorescent phytoplankton
blooming in the seas:
every living organism, buried in the dark,
swimming up, called forth by its light
from even where there is no light.
So, don’t talk to me about the moon!
Not when, without reservation, the sun pours
itself through the east facing windows
and into this quiet morning,
filling us with such brightness we have to shield
our eyes and bodies, and yet
so welcoming that still we bend forward
on rigid stems, leaning with blind faces
into its unending stream.
— AE Hines
Originally published in SLANT, Vol. XXXI, Summer 2017.