The light in the desert comes on slowly
as though we need to prepare for it
or as though it is a gift given grudgingly.
At other times the edge of the world
begins in a blaze brighter than anything
we deserve. Last night I dreamt my father died
as we tried to find where Robert Frost wrote.
We were headed to a beach shack
on the other side of a concrete canal
when he jumped, trying to swim beyond
the surge that flowed toward land
as though Frost wrote with the power
of the charging sea. The current dragged
him down a rocky chute. He was seventy.
We never saw him again. Sometimes the night
comes on like that, suddenly, like a rock
to the head. One minute you think the light
will last forever, the next thing you know
you’re blind, drowning in a dark tunnel
without even a pin-prick flicker
at the immeasurably distant end.
Jose Alcantara teaches math in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He started writing poetry four years ago after a quasi-mystical experience in a graveyard involving Dante, a dead woman named Guadalupe, melting frost, a raven, and some church bells. He was the recipient of a 2013 Fishtrap Fellowship in Poetry.