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    David DumdeiDavid Dumdei

    Throughout “Before Light was Invincible” I change from past to present tense in a weird way. Does it work? How does it make you feel/think?

    i woke up early

    This night, I woke up early. I had fallen asleep where I always do: in the field of moon flowers, between the river and the steep ascent. The night was at its zenith when I set out. I crossed the river on big rocks. The silhouettes of the trees shook and swayed as I pushed up to a ridge and over it.

    This is different. On the north side mystery saturates everything. There are no moon flowers, and it’s hard to see. But it’s quiet with the river gone. I can hear the mist falling down over the pines. I can taste the ferns it rests on with each breath.

    A faint deer trail leads me down to an open field. I’m brought to a dim light held by a slow figure.

    I ask, “Where are the people? the places?”

    He’s wise and honest but tells me he doesn’t know.

    I ask him again. He says, “I haven’t seen anyone else out here.”

    But he’s wise and tells me something about the night and something about the warmth of the fire he holds. I’m not sure what it means.

    He points west, “There is something just beyond that hollowed out oak. Nothing for miles past that.”

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