By Cathy Colman
The night sky. Like a living body
awake. Dead starlight
reaches us, eventually, unlike our beloved
dead. The stars
fall and you’re supposed to catch them.
The jigsaw puzzle
disjointed without our mind’s fix and flex.
And as these galaxies
from us faster than the speed of light, we are
lost here, in
the crabgrass, in the gutted
buildings of old business, the jolt
of wars and countries
stippled back and forth
with the nocturne-fire of weapons.
What I used to mean by hurt
is no longer what I mean.
I have seen so many disappear.
Beneath weightless loam, oleander,
the cries of rooks. The priest
has locked the door to the church. He leaves
with newsprint on his hands.
A world where nothing is clear.
For once I believe in nothing.
All the saliences lie quiet.
There must be a sanctuary I know nothing
about. In Nepal or underwater
in the Great Barrier Reef. Meanwhile,
the stars’ slow, divine decay, away from their mothers,
too, away from their sleepless blood,
the damage done so far back
all language becomes new
stars with their tangled manes, their tilted chairs, their quivering bows–
I stand in the driveway at 2 am
looking up to find true north.
It’s my kind of prayer.