God Said Let There Be Light & I Said No Thanks

Two poems by Hannah Nahar

edison bulb

God Said Let There Be Light & I Said No Thanks

If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.

God Said Let There Be Light & I Said No Thanks

I have a headache, 
though with the SAD lamp’s magic glow and all, 
I receive it like a gift. 
opening my palms for that hollow 
shock of recognition: the familiar whine of too much, too bright. 

what’s artificial?
which rays will hurt me most? 
sitting on a stool in the bookstore, looking up 
at the artfully caged bulbs 

standing in line at the grocery store, the CVS 
all the string lights flicker, all these people 

wearing their own
respective underwear & all these hands 
holding things 
tasting their own leftover mouths.

 

Keep & Touch

I got lost so much 
today, looping in circuits of dark 
streets, my maps and various brains 
clogging up with the faster 
and slower routes. 

My frozen phone 
pushed me over the edge. 
I passed an ER and felt urged to enter
all, excuse me, I have an emergency, 
I need to use your wifi. 

I’m tired of walking 
down all these narratives!  
Sometimes I want 
to sit around all day 
and describe things.  
 
Legs parallel
to the blue. Buildings rising 
up to reach the nightclouds 
who resist the turn 
from day. 

The heart not a heart, 
but a clot stuck pulsing 
through a chest full 
of bone & wind, breathing 
as if the body were not predetermined
to end. 

More Like This

Why Are Americans So Lonely?

In her graphic novel "Seek You," Kristen Radtke searches for an explanation and antidote to societal isolation

Oct 7 - JR Ramakrishnan

7 Short Stories About the Inner Lives of Athletes

Fiction that captures the emotional complexity of competing in a sport, available to read online

Aug 10 - Jared Klegar

7 Books About Women in Purgatory

Ashley Nelson Levy, author of "Immediate Family," recommends novels about feeling trapped with no way out

Aug 5 - Ashley Nelson Levy
Thank You!