A lighthouse in the dark


Hangil Ryu, Brandeis University '20

Everyday, he stumbles out
the brick house old as him, but straighter framed,
and bends over a bent back to choose bright red bricks
just right in size and color.

He places bright red brick into broken
two wheel wheelbarrow, his imbalance
dark dead gray eyes stumbling on bright red bricks.

He heaves angel hair arms and hoists
full of fire bricks nearer the unfinished
lighthouse and wonders
if the cleansing cool waters near,
free and not giving a damn,
boiled by red bricks
will make his angel arms warm,
full of red spaghetti.

He stacks bricks
hour by hour, high as blue
Building a new Babel
wondering if God will recognize
those gray eyes as Its own.
What is the language of dead gray eyes?
It is easier to see than to describe.


One day,
he may finish.
The world may stumble
from all over in French and Spanish and Chinese
to see bright red bricks
full of life and full of fire.

One night he may get up from bed and cast
his silence in their dark. He will trip
because he cannot see in full of fire,
full of life brick lighthouse.

He wonders only then,
for those still stumbling outside,
if he turned his lighthouse on.