top of page

Stan Sanvel Rubin

The Secret of Light

The echolocation of the mind

inside itself

twists me and bends me

the way light is bent

traveling through the universe

or entering water

or even bends by itself.

We know inside light is its opposite.

When the wave peaks cancel 

they make darkness.

Lovers are always

bending one another.

We twist together as if

we might be one.

If I knew enough about you,

there could be light.

If we knew each other better

we would cancel like the night.


The Zhuangzi tells us Confucious

saw a beggar catching cicadas 

on a stick. He learned this,

he said, by imitating a tree

for many months. The body

learns stiffness while

the mind wanders.

Words want to be stiff

in a poem, and exact,

the way we want to be in love.

Technique is not salvation,

though you long for it to be.

Stan Sanvel Rubin’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Agni, The Georgia Review, One, Poetry Northwest, Eight Poems, 2 River, and others. His four full-length collections include There. Here. (Lost Horse Press) and Hidden Sequel (Barrow Street Book Prize). He lives on the north Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.

bottom of page