Starlight & Error — Remica Bingam-Risher

We Awaken Near the Ocean After Being Married

I am spark or light, you are bead

of salt and hum and teeth.

Clay and ash transformed to

stone and ore, fever slick

enraptured, born and re-born.

The ear to the ground in our room

finds one wild bruising art—

hunger and bellyful, fully-fleshed.

What I know for sure is the heart

is like the sea with its dark urging:

wide over everything, breathless and breaking.



If this world is ending

All I’ve been meaning to say is: I was wrong

when we were children and you knew

to love me like we’d end up in each other’s arms.

And I was the foolish one, who thought God couldn’t

make anything possible and wouldn’t

move space and time to bring us into being.

Without me, you might not have wasted those years

on doubt. Without me, you may have been

granted every gladness in between.

But here we are now—root and bud

and grafting—me with my regrets

and you with your believing:

great deity of all mending,

surest light I’ve ever known.


Remica Bingham-Risher, is a Cave Canem fellow, Affrilachian Poet, author of Conversion (Lotus, 2006) winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, and What We Ask of Flesh (Etruscan, 2013). She is currently the Director of Writing and Faculty Development at Old Dominion University and resides in Norfolk, VA with her husband and children.