Poetry: Eclipse by Nicholas Yingling

In “ECLIPSE,” a lingering memory mimics a vision of shadow and light. Like the light, like the shadow: we are always with those who’ve cared for us.



We’ve tucked the skylights in, stapled the curtains

to the wall. Still the night won’t close,

not completely. In a pale orbit of your hair I sit


watching the sky as if what it does it does so

with purpose, like these dusky string lights

that pass for the souls of orange groves


drawn back to Los Angeles by the August heat.

I turn them off. You’re inside with a migraine,

refusing your pills. Even a seed could plant itself


in your throat, a strawberry’s, a spider’s, a man’s.

When your skull struck the concrete

like a match, some light went out for good and now


I must hold you through each eclipse, each passing

shadow of that other world—the one

where I caught you or your last lover hadn’t


sunk black holes in the drywall with your head.

No one meant to hurt you forever,

not when you asked if you looked like Jean Seberg


and I said, Yes, as Joan of Arc, or when you said,

Tell me the truth, and I told you

how the moon returns from being impossibly thin,


how gravity clings to our missing pieces and one day

they will close a lid on the sun

and kings, priests, soldiers will tremble and pray.


Nicholas Yingling

Nicholas Yingling's work can be found in The Missouri Review, 32 Poems, Pleiades, Colorado Review, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of UC Davis' creative writing program and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Close Menu