Candle Talk

Candle flame wavers in the wind,
then blows out — pitch black.
Whatever was there before is still here,
yet now seems more palpable, waiting
patiently just behind these words,
crouched and ready to appear.
It is never the word we use to describe it,
nor does it move stealthily around in the dark
like a nocturnal predator, calculating its prey.
Some earnest aspirants sit in the dark for years
as if it is eventually going to oblige them,
switch on a light, and reveal itself.
Meanwhile, it is what’s sitting, waiting for itself
to appear, even though it has always been here.
It doesn’t make choices, it is the revelation too,
the one which won’t appear to enlighten
the dark and empty sitting room.
This is the provisional revelation:
to be everywhere but not appear.
If it appears, we’ve made an error —
thus begins the preaching, the candle talk.
As for the final revelation:
silence into silence,
pitch black.

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