I Understand This Light to Be My Home : Mai Der Vang   

In the awareness, I am brought closer
to my being from long before.
                                               In my
awareness, there is only what I can take
from the small spaces of

knowing, an earnest ascendance imparted
by way of transmissions from the grid,
                                               a voice calls
out unbroken below and above as the aura
of faraway light.

There is a light that

shimmers so deep it never goes anywhere
but to shimmer.

Light assumes its job is to shimmer,
                                             and so it is,
but more than that, light is ancestral.
Light is witness. Light is prehistory,

blueprint of vibrations shifting through
all directions of time.

Light as hidden winter that leads to
shadow as the growth.
                                             Light as first
language of source. Light as both terrestrial
and celestial. Light of long nights far up

in the sky, I stare to the heavens and
                                             weep for
the stars whose light I have always known
and understood to be my rooting.

I once shared a life with the name of
this light as I know it in the stars who
                                             gave me

my body. As I know it in the frequencies
of my footsteps,

as I hear it in the code of a landscape
imprinted on my fingers,
                                             as I spirit
my eyes open from the inside,
as I know and understand this light
                                             to be kin.

Consider then the pain of leaving
this light, of losing the stars to spaces

no longer lit by its truth.
                                               I am shaped
in the spaces where the light does
not reach, a need for what does not

but opening to the shadow to receive
just as much light.
                                               I miss this
                                               light always.

 Then more light.

Ever more light. Deficit of light to bring
more light.

Template of light to bring more love.

That is my one true wish, as I know

this light to be my home, as a knowing
up there in the galaxy is me,

and I am up there
in my bones built from stars.

~ Mai Der Vang (Born 1981)
[Poetry October 2021, poetryfoundation.org]

Her first book Afterland (Graywolf Press, 2017), received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her second book Yellow Rain (Graywolf Press), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry 2022.

image source : nbcnews.com