Unborn and unwanted stars
dim the night sky with terrors.
Walking the beach with only
the white surf-foam igniting
our way, we cling to ourselves,
clenching in the autumn chill.
We’ve shrunk inside our old age.
Our tempers are those of plants
gripping the dunes with powerful
and deeply committed roots.
Walking in sand with a cane
to support my offside challenges
but doesn’t defeat my intention
to reach the lighthouse atop
a bluff I rolled down drunk some
fifty years ago, the whiskey
upholstering every inch of me.
You never believe my stories
of college drinking sprees, the streets
of Cambridge wrinkled and tinted
colors no one had ever seen.
You claim that clouds have occluded
an ordinary but moonless night.
The sand shifts underfoot. Making
a tripod of myself, I stand
a moment staring out to sea
where some version of me plays
with dolphins. The dark stars bloom
with a shade of black no light
can escape: the same terminal
gravity that grips us so tightly
we almost fail to laugh aloud.