There

After the exodus of light, let there
be black that doesn’t soak up white. Let there
be skin born back on every scar and tear.

Let there be no oceans or weapon wear
of tides raking the shores. Sister, stand there
after the exodus of light.

……………………………………. Let there
be not afraid, for you are with the fair
and mighty god of your body.……. Stare.

Be skin born back on every scar and tear
that undershirt, brother. Let us all bare
this weight. Let there be loose. Let there-
after.

……….. The exodus of light—let there
be evening with no mourning. Say the prayer
of your own name at dawn and echoes. Where?

Be skin born back on every scar and tear,
a voice no longer trembling, Why? the air
drying two eyes closing on Who? aware
after the exodus of light.

…………………………………….Let there
be skin born back on every scar and tear.

Erica Dawson

Erica Dawson

Erica Dawson is the author of two collections of poetry: Big-Eyed Afraid, winner of the 2006 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, and The Small Blades Hurt, winner of the 2016 Poets' Prize. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Harvard Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals and anthologies.She is an Associate Professor of English and Writing at the University of Tampa, and serves as director of their low-residency MFA program.
Erica Dawson

Latest posts by Erica Dawson (see all)

Author: Erica Dawson

Erica Dawson is the author of two collections of poetry: Big-Eyed Afraid, winner of the 2006 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, and The Small Blades Hurt, winner of the 2016 Poets' Prize. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Harvard Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals and anthologies. She is an Associate Professor of English and Writing at the University of Tampa, and serves as director of their low-residency MFA program.