Why do we gaze at stars?

For Lisa

Why do we gaze at stars?
Birds used to swim, before they could fly.
The longer we swim, the more likely we will grow wings.

The sailors, then, is that why they watch you?
Yes, otherwise they’ll never be free.

So, sailors are like fish caterpillars, waiting to emerge?
Yes, like an unborn star.

How are stars born?
Light, balance, and force.

Just those things?
Maybe some fairy dust.

What happens when you fall?
A million wishes are made.

Who do you fall for?
The purest of hearts.

Do their wishes come true?
Look for yourself.

Fire

Fire
I dreamt last night I was a volcano,
but afraid of my own power
I erupted bitterness instead of fire

The neglected dog two doors down
is a different heat
and it burns my belly to imagine him there
under the hot light of a back porch

Night winds cool the winds of the day
that are harsher in their own way
the sun swept around in the branches
is mad there is no shadows
and basks the leaves in a blinding light

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Return_To_Ether

“Ravens are the birds I’ll miss most when I die. If only the darkness into which we must look were composed of the black light of their limber intelligence. If only we did not have to die at all. Instead, become ravens.”

― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

We’re always left to ponder,
where do birds go when they die?
Do they disintegrate in the air,
or return to the ground?

I held my last bird in my hands.
Willie.
As the vet injected him, I was able to pet his head for the first time,
and last.
I told him to say hello to the other birds when he gets there,
but it’s not heaven. Heaven doesn’t exist.
Ether does.
And the souls of all the little birds surround us, in the air beyond the clouds.

We’re always left to ponder,
where do the Ravens go when they die?
Do they, as the saying goes,
become part of the dark sky?
Are they shrouded by the ebony wings of their unkindred,
and die in secret?

Pigeon, I see your feathers on the ground.
Maybe just two with no body, perfectly staged like a killer’s art.
What did you take…
or what was taken from you?

We’re always left to ponder, how does the hummingbird die?
Tiny, fragile, in the cup of a hand,
or drowning in the nectar of a foxglove.

The gull and the salad

A gull landed softly on the concrete as I arrived.
It stared at me intently, then flew a bit away.
I wondered what it wanted
so far from the bay.

Under my car was a salad
Packed tightly with dressing inside
I flipped it over
And I was no longer mystified

I’m hungry, gull said, and I know what you can do
Use your hands on the plastic
Then bid me adieu

I pried open the prize, and set the packets aside,
then set it gently on its makeshift table.
I locked my car, and headed to BART,
hoping to look up as soon as I was able.

I was grateful, you see, to be of service,
to the gull far from home, looking for breakfast.
As I got to the train, I looked up its way,
but could not see the gull
and its salad buffet.

 

 

 

 

 

I am breaking your heart

Sweet_Nectar_

I sit with blood, and I am tender.
I really see the moon tonight; half out, half dark.
I keep the glass door closed, though I want it open.
I am cold, and I ache.

I know this will be another night she kicks me,
my long-legged dog who sheds too much and insists on sharing my bed.
Her dreams and her heat will make me throw off my socks and sweatshirt, or fall out and move to the other other side.

But I’ve gotten used to her,
this shared intimacy with no strings and no words.
I’ve gotten used to her long body, and
she is comforting.

And when she is gone, she will be gone. I don’t usually grieve too long.

My friend says that people come and go,
that who is in your life always changes.

I watched my old friend cross a city street the other day,
I stared at him begging him to see me.
But he’s all up in his own head,
so I hung my own and kept walking.

The single butterfly, the baby dragonfly.
So tender when they appear, their wings are
like silent breaths, tears.
They visit, then disappear.