A stylized line-drawing of a fiery sun.

“In the Light” by Dominique Panko

Dominique is a student at USask, a poet and a mediator. She is interested in how we communicate the indescribable pain, beauty and love in human existence. Her work can be found in Transitions magazine, the Fire from the Heart chapbook, and coming soon in the Existere journal of arts and literature. She is a regular contributor to the Sheaf and is an alumna of the Canadian Conservation Corps. 

In the Light

He makes me understand how my parents fell in love
Strumming still secret chords, in a new key, in the spaces the notes land
Now I know why people marry people they don’t know
And I wonder how I ever disliked French kissing
And I wonder how people fall in love slow

I know why telephone poles cross the country
And why people move to Vegas without warning
He makes me want to live in the desert
Where everything is hot to the touch
Dust like smoke kicked up in a beat
It feels like a dark dive bar, too close to a church

I pray to the stage lights and drink holy water
This is the reason there’s a town called Love
This is why people write songs about Memphis
The sacred is so close to the obscene
Indecent as a white-hot dove

Loudly honest in public and
Earnest on a quiet porch with only short breaths
This must be how people fall in love,
Gasping at the unfamiliar fullness,
The city and the holiness of lights

This piece is part of the in medias res March 2021 “Love” Issue. You can read the full issue under the tag “March 2021.”

Image by Jenna Roesch