Connecting with David St. John’s “Aperture”

by Jennisa Graham  ·  April 22, 2016

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In David St. John’s poem Aperture, first published in the Vol. 5, No. 3 issue of Five Points, the narrator of this poem describes a mysterious woman as “a doorway opening onto the light.” Not every day is a woman compared to an entryway. St. John believes that she is not only the door, but the light inside as well.

Love can be described in many ways, but I had to wonder if St. John’s narrator was truly in love with this woman or if he only lusted after her. The line “Dilated entirely by the absolute & eloquent/ Profile by desire” portrays a yearning the man feels for this woman, which must be apparent if he is using these metaphors to explain his feelings.

The sexual attraction that fuels the narrator’s desire is really expressed in stanza 2, line 3 and 4: “Where he stood before her every filament ablaze/ Every lens of consciousness et cetera.” Every filament or thread of his existence is not just on fire, but scorching furiously so that he is no longer in control.

When they are finally together it is “the molten speed of the moment signaling/ the arrival of their bodies upon a shifting plain of stars,”— once they are finally together the galaxy around them will be at awe at what is happening. The speaker of the poem may not clearly state what his feelings are; however caught in between love, lust, and desire he finds comfort in this mysterious women enough to view her in such a distinctive way.

To read the poem, click here.