Chance and chance alone has a message for us. Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute.
—Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
After you moved to New York you called
To say read Kundera, and I did and found these two sentences
About chance. Now I can’t stop thinking
About that night last year –
We were running errands “out of necessity”
When we saw that house: no curtains and bare bulbs shining,
At least 20 lamps without shades.
I stopped the car and we both looked and wondered –
So many bright, naked lights
We couldn’t see through the glare.
Your profile was lit up.
This book we are both reading now
Says “While two people are fairly young
And the musical composition of their lives
Is still in its opening bars, they can go about writing it
Together, exchanging motifs.” I closed the book this morning
And thought of a reason
For all of those bare lightbulbs.
I imagined an old man
Feeling his way towards one light
Then sending himself off towards another,
Unaware of us outside
Or of his nearly ordinary house
Become, for us, a constellation,
Lighting up our world
In a way so insignificant
I only mention it now because it lasts forever.
Kirk Robinson lives in Munster, Indiana, with his wife and three children. Assistant Professor of English at Calumet College of St. Joseph, he received his MFA in poetry from the Ohio State University in 1998. His poems have appeared in RATTLE, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, and a number of other literary magazines.
Indiana Humanities is posting a poem a day from Indiana poets in celebration of National Poetry Month.