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  • Nathan Brown

Brightness


~ for Tony Hoagland on October 23, 2018

The world just lost a pixel

on its big ball-shaped screen.

One of my favorite points of light

in the ever-dimming age of reason.

And if we do indeed need our poets

as much as we do our top engineers

and environmental scientists, then

today was a deadly meteor strike.

The earth shook, though not everyone

felt it—we are dying by tiny degrees.

But Tony kept me cool when my head

got hot, warm when my heart went cold.

He was a precision punch in a room

full of loud, poorly-aimed shotguns.

Poems with life in the crosshairs.

Wit that forced a double take.

And so it is that our trail-weary hope,

walking into the future’s darknesses,

watched his guiding flame flicker today,

making the way ahead much harder to see.


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