Poem 116

The Night Watch
We turned the night sky over and over in our hands
until we knew what we were looking for. There
at the apex we chose together a beacon;
bonded as one, we fixed our hearts to a star.
But it was not a star. With a tail like a tentacle,
the comet wrapped itself around the cosmos
open handed like a glove, collecting light from afar.
But it was not a star. We had coveted only a comet.
Though lovely lingering the strata of our course,
it was not the mother mouth of miracles,
not the deep pull of churning burning helium
that we tracked with our sprawled call.
It was not a star. I looked to you for guidance
but you were peering through the dark
with eyes etched across the evening I said
we should keep looking you said not together
I said, fair enough.


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