Madeleine Barnes is a poet and visual artist from Pittsburgh, PA. Her poetry and artwork have appeared or are forthcoming in places like Pleiades, Jai-Alai Magazine, Rogue Agent, BOXCAR Poetry Review, The Rattling Wall, Yew Journal, Three Rivers Review, Washington Square Review, Cordella Magazine, and Pittsburgh Poetry Review. Her chapbook, The Mark My Body Draws in Light, was published in 2014, and she received her MFA from New York University.
My father held a tiny piece of glass
that glittered in his hand
as we walked out into night
into the company of hills
and shambling sheep,
boots pressed against thistledown
and when we were two hours away
from the eclipse, he held the lens
in front of my eyes and I saw
another thing, the bigger thing.
I was afraid and shut my eyes.
The muscles around my heart
tightened as we walked
toward the end of comprehension
exchanging light waves
in silence. It will happen again
in twenty years, he said.
Things you know by sight.
Things you know without.