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If our days were honeycombed with cells,
waxy partitions, then the gold could ooze
and spill its gleam and sweetness
as easily as light traverses space.
Are honeycombs so porous, though? Can light
pass through a solid wall? I tried to clear
a passage so that radiance could seep through
and flood the dark compartments.

But even though it shone
(as Ezra Pound reminds us
in one of his best lines)
more brightly juxtaposed against the gloom,
the gold remained contained.
It gleamed, but it was shy of crossing borders.
And on the other side,
neither could the darkness be denied.

—Rachel Hadas

Photo by Rajat Yadav via Creative Commons. Image cropped.