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Many of the poems in this issue seem to coalesce around themes of darkness and light. In what ratio of shade or illumination do your poems thrive? Does a dark poem need light, and vice versa? Also: In this piece, your speaker declares herself “the houseguest of any dream,” but in the poem, no host appears. Is the dreamer in control of her dream?

Entering a dark room, I remember its contours from being there in the light; I may pat around for the light switch if the room is entirely new to me. Walking around outside in the dark, I may appreciate the moon’s reach or reach for a flashlight. During my root canal, I will see a bright light directed into that well of my mouth I cannot see.  At the bright beach, I seek out the shade for relief. In a dark room, with just a scrap of light, I calm down. Lights out, now to sleep. Daily we navigate through these literal darks and lights, and in both of these spaces illumination can arise, that figurative sense, that opening up into wilder spaces: epiphanies, spells, visions, dreams, trances, imaginings. They have their own weave of darks and lights, so intimate. Let’s say my darks and lights kiss. They do so exceedingly in dreams in which the I gets troubled; the dream being the host and I the guest, with all those variant levels of welcome. The more that we can walk around thinking of ourselves as guests, I think, the less damage we may do. Who is the host of this space? This place? Whom do I thank? Am I the stranger? (I haven’t even gotten to the notion of hair being blanched by fear, all this fear).