Chiaroscuro: At the Same Time

Closing your eyes is not the equivalent
of creating darkness
just like drawing the curtains is
a futile effort in absolutes. Between
pulling, closing, and opening, a pencil
also intervenes. Darkness
is like that: possibilities.

Breathe it in. The comfort of leaving out
what you’ve been taught. It’s not you or yours
so with eyes
closed, let darkness be.

Light sneaks in, opening the curtains
and you watch the dialog—these words
you can’t yet understand. What desires
express, what prevails, how you translate
these, into them, from them, and you. Dark
stays and you want it to. It gives light
an edge.

Give yourself to darkness
like depth to be
but remember that give and gives
point to you and it as separate


Laura Cesarco Eglin is a poet and translator from Uruguay. She is the author of three collections of poetry and three chapbooks, including Life, One Not Attached to Conditionals (Thirty West Publishing House, 2020) and Reborn in Ink, translated by Catherine Jagoe and Jesse Lee Kercheval (The Word Works, 2019). Her poems, as well as her translations (from the Spanish, Portuguese, Portuñol, and Galician), have appeared in a variety of journals, including Asymptote, Modern Poetry in Translation, Eleven Eleven, Puerto del Sol, Copper Nickel, Spoon River Poetry Review, Arsenic Lobster, International Poetry Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Blood Orange Review, Timber, Pretty Owl Poetry, Pilgrimage, Periódico de Poesía, and more. Cesarco Eglin is the translator of Of Death. Minimal Odes by the Brazilian author Hilda Hilst (co•im•press), winner of the 2019 Best Translated Book Award in Poetry. She co-translated from the Portuñol Fabián Severo’s Night in the North (Eulalia Books, 2020). She is the co-founding editor and publisher of Veliz Books and teaches creative writing at the University of Houston-Downtown.