A star’s just another mode of intelligent light
looking for its eyes with its eyes,
its mind with its mind
just as most of us go looking for ourselves
in someone we will never know,
someone we can never find
because they’re always the open door behind us.
It takes a lot of shining to make a human,
and a lot of darkness to blow one out,
but somehow the universe has managed it
like a thought without an opposite, and we’re here
like a manger of fire, a magus of ashes
to witness our engendering
like a star well beyond its own light
by the time we see it, turning around,
a jewel in the night, or a glass of wine
in a thoughtful hand,
to host the mystery of its own radiance
as if each of us were the guest of our own longing,
the stranger in the doorway smiling like a threshold
with gifts for everyone.
A little laughter with your tears perhaps might help,
if I can suggest it lightly enough
to feather your crying.
It’s true. Some people
live like blackholes,
like rats behind a mirror
trying to pick themselves out of a line-up
like the fourth magnitude stars of a slummy constellation,
for things they only wish they’d done,
but certain they can recognize themselves.
Concrete hands and mystic fingertips in mystic Hollywood.
But it’s easy to throw a whole lot more light on the matter than that
and get out beyond the dazzling billboards of the white dwarfs
on this midway of the Milky Way
imploding into their warped identities like periods.
Look. I turn the lights out
and one of us, me, no doubt
is the darkness of a wounded dragon,
and you, when you laugh, the shining.
And of course it’s not truer than trees in the moonlight
if I say it in shadows and snow,
but it’s the only language I know
when the night pours me out like this from Aquarius
and I speak in tongues like the sea,
or paper gulls winging it like poetry
around the weeping candle
of the lighthouse that once was me.
And maybe tomorrow I’ll be the star again
of some one-night constellation
looking for a cheap motel
off this road of ghosts
that drives me like an eye
through the needle I lost in the haystack
of a scarecrow that took off his second hand clothes
like skins and myths and skies he’d outgrown
to prove there was nothing up his sleeve
like the dagger of an identity
that the birds couldn’t believe.