Black wore his hat where Joyce Carol Oates stopped
to observe three other men in hats, and one woman,
besides herself, in red, wondering about one man
beside her, one who has finally but probably
tentatively left his wife, wondering what is better
left unsaid, better left undone, not worth doing, or
at least not worth doing well, at once both the greatest
and least of light, exposing itself as others,
the kind of light camera enthusiasts insist
on calling “secondary light,” the kind that calls
into question her shade of lipstick, which she thought,
initially, was perfect, incontrovertibly flattering—
as hair that haloes without commandeering sainthood,
the kind of light that assures one it is not the light
of day, where two women wonder about themselves
and others, where one is truly present and the other is not,
the kind of light that God, when He was pondering
the genesis of light, would not have let be;
where Joyce Carol Oates has stopped to slum, so to speak,
clearly at odds with herself for being so much
the mere onlooker, mere eye, of this unspoken storm.