Wednesday, September 20, 2006


In the Fall sky you leap out at me
the only constellation I find immediately.
(The Big Dipper still hides)
The one my mother showed me
standing on a dock
on the shore of Maine.

The waves lap at our feet
rocking our base
our hips flung apart to balance the sway
of our unsteady legs
wide hips, straight knees braced
a warrior's stance.

See the belt?
The sword?
Three and three
a triumvirate:
God and Man and the Holy Ghost
Three in One

Years later my aunt
my mother's little sister
took me up to the roof of her barn,
fear of sliding off the tilt onto the rock below,
horses crunching on hay below us,
eating a pulse of life to fill the night
with the warm comfort of contentment.

See the belt?
The sword?
Three and three
The triumvirate:
Family and Fear and Familiar
Three in One

I am as old now as my aunt
long dead
was the night on the roof
the night she tried to show me the details
the green stars, the red.
To make her proud
I lied to say I could see colors

And early this morning
I stepped out of my house with the trash
bacon and paper and coffee
and there you were, Orion.
balancing just above the sour can

burned by the glow of so many porch lights
the street lamps shining against your shoulders
dimming all the stars around you
swimming in an orange sulfur sky

headless you showed me only your belt, your sword
and your knees
flung apart as a warrior stands
fighting the tide of distraction
cars and kids and trash

find me
remember me

you're fading, Orion
dipping into a fog
calves thrashing against the undertow
yet your sword
your one sandaled foot

kick me into remembering
the waves
and the hay
and the night
when in silence women said
look at the stars

aren't they the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?
I love you.

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