Everything in Sunlight I Can’t Stop Seeing

Graham Barnhart

after Bruce Weigl

I fry an egg over easy, and eat it
between two slices of wheat toast.
Through the kitchen window I watch a workman 
prying up the old street.  
Brittle sparks 
jump from the brick top when he strikes it. 
Or it’s the shovel tip scoured to chrome
bouncing off the clay. 
I leave my sister’s house, 
and the intersection transformer is still 
humming somehow. I’m used to the electricity 
quieting in the wire when the sun 
scrapes its knee bloody up the porch step.   
I walk beneath the orange 
fluorescent street lamps
and the white fluorescent street lamps turning
the air around themselves resinous 
with bluing rings like flooded drainage ditch 
ripples around dropped earrings. 
Tree branches, black 
in the dawn sky, resume their grays and browns 
by lunch, but the black wrought fences continue 
leaning into their rust, rigid and failing.
—there is no war in this but me.

Graham Barnhart served as a Special Forces medic in Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently pursuing an MFA at Ohio State University. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Beloit Poetry JournalThe Gettysburg ReviewGulf CoastThe Sewanee Review, and others. He was recently named the recipient of the 2015 Chad Walsh Poetry Prize from the Beloit Poetry Journal.