The Light Over Amherst

Elizabeth Oakes

Iodine sky, Emily calls it once.

Iodine, that stings and then heals.
Emily in rapture about that
sky, not calling it coral or yellow
or like the springtime gladiolas, not
like the persimmon or the peach.

No, iodine. Emily knew.
Did she see in that sky
something of what she would
be, that death would heal
all, maybe even before,
that beauty—a thing worth
dying for—would?

That iodine sky—the sun
making the world so beautiful
as dusk fell. Emily now starts
her writing for the day, closes
the door to the stairs that
squeak even from her quiet feet.

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