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Northern Lights

By Anthony Emerson

It was after midnight

and we drove the Golden Road

into the blackness.

I parked beneath the outstretched arms of an Eastern Pine


We stood on a bridge that swayed with the weight of us

Katahdin was a faint purple shadow in

the dark expanse that we could only see

because we knew it was there. The Penobscot moved invisibly

beneath our feet and my knees wobbled

while I stared at the stars and waited for my eyes to adjust.

I couldn’t see you in the night, but I felt your presence and our whispers cut through the humid air

like dim streams of light. The sky was like any other Northern sky

until it exploded in bursts of green rivers

spilling across the stars.

We searched the celestial wilderness

for silent flashes of cosmic light—

two specks of flesh

suspended above running water, aching in the way you ache when something is too

big to comprehend.

My ears pulsed

with the sound

of your heartbeats

and the entire universe

felt like a darkened room

that could barely fit us.

I clenched the railing

and tried to forget

that we are floating through space

And I thought about the moths

with wings like brilliant flowers

resting in the eaves

hoping for a new moon.

Anthony Emerson lives and writes at the edge of the North Maine Woods. His essays, short fiction, and poetry have been published in Appalachia Journal, Bangor Daily News, The Dewdrop,The Dillydoun Review, Northern New England Review, Tiny Seed Journal, Flora Fiction and Visitant. Outside of writing he enjoys hiking, the Grateful Dead, and kayaking with his grandmother. You can find out more about him here:


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