Melissa Range • Lampblack

Black as a charred plum-stone, as a plume
from a bone-fire, as a flume of ravens
startled from a battle-tree—the lantern resin
the monk culls from soot to quill the doom
and glory of the Lord won’t fade. The grime
of letters traced upon the riven
calf-skin gleams dark as fresh ash on a shriven
penitent, as heaven overawing time.
World’s Glim, Grim Cinderer, is it sin
or history or a whimsied hex that burns
all life to tar? We are dust, carbon
spilled out from your Word. A lamp overturned
into the pit of pitch beneath your pen
the inkhorn filled before the world was born.

Melissa Range’s first book of poems is Horse and Rider (Texas Tech University Press, 2010). She is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Missouri.