Minnesota Poetry: Lightsey Darst’s “Central Heat”

Lightsey Darst lives at that wonderful intersection of art … and art.

A dancer and poet, her last collection of poetry, “Dance,” is filled with movement.  Darst, who also reviews dance concerts, has the unique ability to express motion with words.

Here’s a selection from “Dance,” published by Coffee House Press.

Central heat
That arm extended raveling clockwise, a balance spar—something
grows out of nothing. Hate a center, depart from a center, abandon

an empty center: “it violates our private space & the one place
we think of as our sanctuary.” Lift your animal head, drink of

always this unfastening: our wish clears out, leaving space for heaven, but not
heaven, we were there once, naming, clawing ourselves—an element like arrows

or rainwater shatters off your arm, fractured, not cut diamond, is star sapphire
built around a flaw. Some home invaders might have walked

in your house before—saw themselves in your mirrors. Some even claim “it’s a
rush”—that hush before you hurt or save, suddenly sure of where you stand.

– “Central heat” is reprinted by permission from DANCE (Coffee House Press, 2013). Copyright © 2013 by Lightsey Darst.