HOW TO BE A LIGHTHOUSE


1. Insist upon constant vigilance and upkeep.
Require a new coat of whitewash and
a rigorous Fresnel lens cleaning. Only turn on
when operated by the hands of an expert.

 


2. Beam your light on everything
with little regard for discretion—
ships nearing shore, lovers entwined in the sand.
Cargo be damned—protect your people
from unseen rocks, from faulty navigation.

 


3. Outmode yourself. Run yourself down.
Wear out your siding. Let high tides pummel
you. Squint through a cataract. Stay where
you are, in need of repair as the last vessel
leaves, a monument to past necessity.

HERESY


God is not static
I am.


She changes
like all myths.


Like underwear
should be changed—


an important,
necessary chore


that is only done
in private.


Who says the laws
of nature are immutable?


The speed of light was fudged
by disciples at the altar of science.


I just know it.
Overturn the table.


Question every atom.
The virulence of atheists.


The dogmatic statistician.
The answers are hidden


in the numbers, like bastard
children in the woodpile.


Truth is scattered in fragments.
There is a cosmic treasure hunt.


You will not win the brass ring
on every turn around the sun.


Doubt everyone
who insists otherwise.

Amy Baskin's work is currently featured in Bear Review, Foliate Oak, Willawaw Journal, VoiceCatcher, and Cirque, among others. She is a 2019 Oregon Literary Arts Fellow for a novel in verse about snakes and girls. When she's not writing, she matches international students at Lewis & Clark College with local residents to help them feel welcome and at home during their stay. When she's not working, she's camping.

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