There is so much sky in this county, it stretches from one horizon
to the other, and a string of clouds scattered like vertebra
arch, their edges pink, and hazy, the sun sitting low
beneath this smudged spine
and in response my own joints loosen, unlock,
lungs fill and grow
until they are as big as this county, as big as the sky
finally full, finally home.
Outside the sky has shifted to tin, but the rain holds off
even as the clouds buckle
thick bellies heavy against the horizon,
beached mothers in their slow, sloping movements.
A tremor that might be a plane, or a kick, or my imagination
is proof enough of life.
I needed proof today.
The world has emptied, drained out while I slept
still damp along the edges but vacant.
I need the sky to fill me up.
After chapter six I get distracted, put the book down, and leave it
on a shelf with likeminded volumes of good intentions
I mean to come back to.
Ursa Major makes a den for itself among scattered thoughts
hibernates until night unfolds, then The Great Bear yawns
stirs like memory and steps into the sky.
It takes the right kind of observation, to find binary stars.
They huddle so close that they obscure their own pairings,
burn as a single pinpoint to the naked eye.
Two magnitudes in perpetual orbit, moving as one,
two halves of a whole, it is easy to paint a romance on devotion
so far removed.
Our sun is solitary, though not extraordinarily so, or oddly so.
Stars (I read) are loners just as often as couples
And it makes no difference to their brightness.
There is nothing wrong with a little loneliness.
Sometimes the only light you need is the one you hold
sometimes space is what makes you seen.
There were no feathers, though my father looked
torch an oily, smoking star
he bid me follow north.
We found bones.
Cracked open for their marrow, stacked
in heaps against the walls
too brittle to be clever
no matter how my father willed it.
He took one with a sharpened end
kept it in his palm, even while we slept.
I knew he feared the dark.
We ate beef, until the maggots set in
and then we built ourselves an escape
from the ruins of its ribcage.
No feathers, only broken bone.
No feathers, only broken hope.
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