Benjamin Cutler

An Invitation to Light

What is distance but a failure
of light?—light pulled

to its listless terminus, a rope
grown heavy with reaching. Take,

for instance, the third and fourth folds
of mountain: how they pale

like lips bruised blue with need
of breath; how, from my distant seat

behind this window, these peaks lose
laurels and pines, rivers and vines:

courageous greens that never feared
to be so gray.

And what of your window?—where
the light fails me entirely, where

you read these lines
despite this failing. Friend:

let us tie each frayed photon
into a new, far-reaching braid.

Light needs such quiet, gentle work.


Benjamin Cutler was raised on a riverbank in the mountains of Western North Carolina where he now resides and teaches high school English and Creative Writing. A two-time North Carolina Poetry Society award-winning poet, Benjamin's poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and have appeared in numerous publications, including The Carolina Quarterly, Barren Magazine, The Lascaux Review and Longleaf Review, among many others. Benjamin is also the author of the full-length collection The Geese Who Might be Gods (Main Street Rag 2019). When he's not reading, writing, or playing with his four children, Benjamin can be found of the creeks and trails of his mountain home.