I’m thinking about how light has texture: falling
on a wall, sharp, and on carpet, fuzz-edged, frayed,
as if made of snow.
And snow, which appears soft,
until compacted or until melted or until examined
under the eye of a microscope to see the edges of the crystals,
which, I think, it never meant to hide. They were merely small,
like many things are: viruses, powders, gestures, words.
The snow is sharp, like the light it refracts, but each edge is so fine,
so minute, that it feels like fluff, same as how a bed of nails
doesn’t puncture the skin, the iron spikes close enough together
to bear the weight of the flesh.
Then, like needles in their casings
which appear blunt, until the spring-loaded button is pressed
and the needle jabs in. The syringe, hidden underneath the safety
of flat plastic; the snowflake, hidden behind its minisculity; the light,
cutting through panes of a window, striking the wall in slats,
hidden behind its intangibility.
I am naming things to avoid the truth,
which I hardly know myself: that a sharpness in things lives obscured
until a condition is met, like how obsidian is a stone until chipped
to a biface; or snow, soft until magnified; or light, until it burns the skin;
or a white powder, nothing until dissolved, loaded into the warm needle.
Teo Mungaray is a queer, chronically ill, latinx poet. He holds an MFA from Pacific University of Oregon and is pursuing his doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a co-founder and co-EIC of Cotton Xenomorph. His poems have recently appeared in or are forthcoming from Gulf Coast, The Shade Journal, Waxwing, Sycamore Review, Drunk Monkeys, and Birdfeast. He has a cat named Lysistrata.