Far from Darkness

What happened to us last night?

What happened to me?


It wasn't the martinis.

Most nights ice cracking in shakers

echoes through the kitchen and I

savor salty olive and bitter juniper.


It wasn't the coversation 'cause

most nights we check in, catch up

cuddling on the couch.


It wasn't the music when

most nights we travel

across the bridge, eyes wide open,

to where flamingoes fly.


But last night, without understanding

how or why, Mount Tambora erupted and

we could be looking at another

summer without sun, bones as

tombless as flesh, but nothing could

block the light from your smile, although

we knew only groaning when the ash fell.


The smiling came after.


Based partly on Lord Byron's poem, "Darkness," written in 1816, the Year Without a Summer, and the surprising delight I can still find in my marriage bed, even after 22 years.