Skip to content

Log Out



The stage is a proxy anywhere:
A dank chapel, say,
With a coin-operated light

That for a price illuminates
The Expulsion from the Garden
Or Noli Me Tangere.

With a mechanical click,
The light ceases,
Leaves you deep-keeled in darkness.

You can hear the divine
Murmur, its lingua ignota:
A thrown voice, a concealed stitch.

A blessing feels like a blow.
Wax threads and trickles
Down a candle’s length

Before the flame shudders
And gutters. Dark’s allure recurs,
Whelms you like a wave.



Eric Pankey is the author of several books, most recently The Future Perfect: A Fugue (Tupelo). He teaches in the MFA program at George Mason University.




Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash

Image depends on its subscribers and supporters. Join the conversation and make a contribution today.

+ Click here to make a donation.

+ Click here to subscribe to Image.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Receive ImageUpdate, our free weekly newsletter featuring the best from Image and the world of arts & faith

* indicates required