BRILLIANT by Marc Harshman


Imagine time enough
to be crushed
into diamond, sightless
yet dazzling
should you return
to bend the sun,
resurrected refraction,
to pass it from one hand
to another
the light, as if
facets could be
so obliquely
utilized and . . .
so many—
in a Brilliant Cut
and there’s no rush,
plenty of time
to get to such
But have you yet
measured the squeeze
needed for these tears
to become ice,
the geriatric boulders
to slowly erode to sand,
the number of bones
still working
their way free
from their many boxes?
A little lower than
the heavenly beings, yes,
but how much, and for how
long must we wait?
Let us burn
these coals with fire,
settle in with this
our only eternity,
its rage, and
in this heaven’s hour
press our hearts
into the hard brilliance
meant to outshine
these little minutes
so relentlessly mortal
and dull.


Author’s Note:

Brilliant Cut is a term used to describe a circular cut for diamonds and other gemstones in the form of two many-faceted pyramids joined at their bases, the upper one truncated near its apex.


Marc Harshman’s WOMAN IN RED ANORAK, Blue Lynx Prize, was published in 2018 by Lynx House Press. His fourteenth children’s book, FALLINGWATER, co-author, Anna Smucker, was published by Roaring Brook/Macmillan. He is co-winner of the 2019 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and his Thanksgiving poem, “Dispatch from the Mountain State,” was printed last year in the New York Times. Poems have been anthologized by Kent State University, University of Iowa, University of Georgia, and the University of Arizona. Appointed in 2012 he is the seventh poet laureate of West Virginia. His most recent publication is TWO VIEWS OF OXFORD, Monongahela Books, 2021.

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