The light you seek is not real
either: one of those lies the children invent
so that Christmas may be more fun
who hold them dear...
and that the Christ child be there like a bottle
of pure milk on the doorstep, freely
and freshly delivered
when the rattling of morning glass brought the milk
man in his cap and clean company uniform.
I mean a bygone age: yesterday
while I imagined the adventure to be
a highway and I could get off at any toll booth,
not too sure of the change in my pockets.
You were there too (but who wasn’t?)
examining maps, stopping at a wayside
restaurant to watch the woods fill up with snow,
hunting for the sushi palace, the billboards
nearer than we’d calculated. But whose equations
were right was a conundrum we felt obliged
to solve as though it were a true mystery,
with us staring up and searching for it
among the stars. It didn’t matter.
Form indicated it had reached its crescendo
and was now coming to an end, no wiser
or less wise
than before, like a cigarette butt tossed
to the floor after topping off a spectacular event:
a coming of age, a simple arrival,
as though light were there for the taking.