What LIGHT Is 

anah childes    

“For the rest of my life I want to reflect on what LIGHT is.”  A. Einstein 


I have knelt before the mirror.  (Reflections of reflect)  Nags Champra is the

scent.   Candles, (here, there) are the light.  (Reflections of reflect)   The rest of my life is here.  I whiff, slip smoke into my lungs, tipping my head, my short hair, pixie face reminds me of Peter Pan.  

The room is magic. 

I think of a picture that Lord Snowden took of Marlena Dietrich.   Marlena had liked one print of her face and she had liked the smoke swirl of another taken in the same photo set.   Snowden was commanded to fuse the two.   He did.   Swirled, swirled--I like the exhale of hemp, pfffing toward the mirror.  Infuse the face of Patrick, standing, he pitches his thighs against my shoulder blades, his fingers massage my shoulders.   I watch him in the mirror--he watches me twist slight, I cut my eyes to him.   Cut my eyes to him.  I wonder if I could catch the smoke of one whiff and the cut of eyes in another--fuse them.   The force would be, would be perfection.   At least, I am thinking, as I kneel, kneaded by Patrick.   The rest of my life is here.  “I am looking for something,” I say.  That is I say ”I am looking for something” if anyone asks.  The face of a man I think I should know upon first appearance in my life.  Patrick was like that, all cartoon-like, heads whip-lashing around the second we laid eyes on one another in the confines of a small town video store.   G-d knows we have whip-lashed through almost a whole year of  “knowing each other through push and pull romantic tendencies.”   We suffered through a bout of impotency.   We survived his knowing about all the REAL OTHER MEN in my life.    

Patrick is patient.    

Tonight we are alone in my house.   Patrick has his thoughts.   To me, he feels like he is uncomfortable in my comfortable home, with clean sheets that are “high thread counts”.   Patrick likes that.   I fit them to the bed earlier in the day in anticipation of Patrick.  Cleaned and pressed, Patrick is cleaned and pressed, smelling of soap and a couple of cigarettes.   Patrick downs a glass of wine.   He doesn’t really enjoy the taste but he wants the twinkle.   Our kisses are always slip, sloppy, slithers.  I vow in the night to BE HERE NOW.    I vow to smell his skin, I vow to feel the full sacks of manhood cradling his stamen, I vow to touch his brow, to feel his biceps, I vow to not let his presence be neglected.  I vow to touch his soft belly.  


Patrick is not pure specimen of hard but has spots on his body that are testosterone pumped and other parts of his body that are pudgy.   Sometimes I have been afraid to touch him, afraid I might find something that I don’t like particularly.   Tonight I find him plump like a pleasing, pleasing fruit, I lick the stem, I brush the fuzz, I smell the readiness before the actual bite and taste.  I cradle him, he cradles me.  Patrick thinks he has the j!o!b.   


 “Exactly, what is the j!o!b?” I ask.  Driving a garbage truck.  

I am allowing this man to sink well into the deep throat of me.   I am all the slime of Pulitzer’s and Nobel prizes for literature, and incense burned to the G-d that mused Hermann Hesse and Patrick, my lover (we have freckles alike, he always tells me this) will drive a garbage truck.  He will only have to work Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.     My lover, who will drive a garbage truck, makes himself ready for me.  Something perfect.


 “He who holds the great symbol will attract all things to him.” 


“to him that hath shall be given to him.” 


a.Einstein explained the concept of LIGHT as being both particle and wave.   One of a.Einstein’s comrades simplified the duality by saying, "The advancing sieve of time coagulate waves into particle at the moment of  'NOW'."  


So I simply see it.   If I am looking at the stream of light through time, if I am looking at the stream of Patrick and me reflecting in the candlelight, I would see in the mirror, see wave--us--wave.   


Only in the NOW would we materialize solid enough to touch one another.   The great symbol we can hold is "now".   We are in reality in the flow of time.  “Chatty-chat, chat”   I tell Patrick we chat all the time.  Tonight he pushes me between the door jamb where I always see the SPIRITS that inhabit this little rock house and in the dimmed candle glow I wonder if I pushed one around when Patrick s-xually aggressed me.  I had been waiting for just the tenderness Patrick bestows on me.   I think we feel like a lullaby.   Two children, lost and alone, no one else better to fill the danse card so WE danse.   We are not defiled and our bed is not defiled.  “Do you have any music?”  Patrick asks twice as we roll and spin.   


I don’t have a CD player, radio, tape recorder, nothing to play love lullabies on.   Love-making will be quiet.   Love-making will be my ooooh’s and ahhhhhs.    Patrick is a silent lover except for an occasional louder sigh.  I am fuddled.   I am mad.  I feel futile of late.  I am forty-one and I thought, I really did think, a soul-mate would appear.    A man that I could not live without but as the slip of time tickers off like ticker tape I am aware that no one like that has come.   No one is not replaceable.   I have found me--and I must be enough.   Messiahs are rare. 

Patrick and I fuss with our bodies until he comes.   I let him erupt inside the fold of me because he has had a vasectomy.   His sperm has no punch.  He says he loves the feeling of not having to pull out at the last minute.   Patrick subtly admits he likes my body, my person but we constantly remind one another “we are the LOVE THE ONE YOUR WITH.”   It is enough.   Patrick arrived at 11pm and will be gone at the crack of dawn and the “high count sheets” will be drawn taut by 7am and our snuggle will be smoothed out with a decorative pillow placed “right” and the "we won’t need each other" replaced with LIGHT OF DAY, the hunger gone, flight mounted.  


The rest of my life is here. 


It is not like our s-x is wild and pornographic, it is more an attempt to start a fire with a small lighter with low fluid--I always want to swaddle Patrick in swaddling clothes.   I did mount him, straddle, fling forward, flip back-arched, allow him to take my tear-drop shaped breast into his freckled hands and mash my nipples--and flopping into his smooth chest, Patrick takes my left breast between his lips and shoves a bit deeper. 


I hate hindsight I love. 


Tritely, after the roll in the high thread count sheets, I ask, “Patrick, do you think people just settle?”  “Do you think people just settle?”   Settle for where they live because it is where they live, settle for who they love because it is who they love, settle for the conversations they have because it is the conversations they have. 


I storm into work one morning, full of philosophical testosterone harping, “I have questions!   I have questions!  No one has answers.   No one even wants me to ask the g-d damned questions.   Keep those to yourself.   I have questions!"  I stomp back to my work retreat and skulk, sulk, shiver, shallow-breathe and slobber over uncertainties.  




I contemplate, I reflect on what light is.  I know Einstein found more than what I will on what light is.  ILLUMINATION IS LIGHT.  LIGHT IS ILLUMINATION.  During the cup of the night, holding Patrick, illumination lit a moment of my cognizant mind.   Peering into the mirror, reflecting candle, me, Patrick’s hands wandering against my bare skin.   I was illumined.   Sometime during the course of our tussling, Patrick was on top of me--and his body was full inside, full elongated against my canvass of nudity, full--and his hands that will drive a garbage truck, cup my face, his kisses are tender, I am illumined.     


I up and retreat to the bathroom after Patrick has come a second time and his semen lies pooled on his soft belly, I return with a warm wash cloth--swathe his skin, clean and press him, I nuzzle my nose, last time into his soft red curls framing his penis.  The rest of my life is here.  I am illumined...LIGHT.  Chat, chat, chat chat.   Patrick and I chat until we shut up in sleep.  So what was the question?   What was I looking for?   Is this settling?  Days later, over the phone, Patrick tells me the night felt so short.    I knew I was there.   Does that count?   Is that illumination?   LIGHT?       

© 2001 annah childes


Annah childes’ ineffable bio:


"i hate hindsight i love." in writing, i am a student. i do not write to impress the world or to become heralded as the "next best ONE", i write to learn from the SOURCE that provides me my wisdom texts. the teacher in ecclesiastes wrote, "of making many books (of writing a plethora of prose and poetry) there is no end, and much study wearies the body."


i write to learn "what light is."

it is there, inside me, it tumbles forth in short stories, in poetry, in quotes that to me speak volumes. from "WHAT LIGHT IS" i was reminded that "i hate hindsight i love."


"Live in the sight."


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