SUMMER TRIANGLE THROUGH THE LEAF COVER
Summer triangle through the leaf cover
of the birches and pines, Deneb, Al Tair, Vega,
a swan, an eagle, and a lyre, and the sun
headed toward Vega at 18 km/sec. Arcturus
sinking into the west. Knowledge disconnected
from the stars. How could they know how
I see them paradigmatically, how they’re shaped
into the legends of our seeing on a starmap,
the powers that have been attributed to them,
though for me my solitude evaporates
into their lucid immensities like dry ice.
I hug my knees on a moonlit outcrop of rock.
More lichens than a suitcase has travel stickers
or a bike gang has patches and rockers. Grey green
and a muted arsenic orange. Alien aspects
of the rags of life from Mars. Cold temperatures
and high carbon dioxide atmospheres and they’d thrive.
Now they’re a wardrobe paupered by the Canadian Shield.
Fossils of moondogs. Decals of lunar seas.
And underneath the pines, a graveyard of compass needles,
rusty eyelashes, amputated hands of analogue watches.
The woods are alive with shaking cattails
and snapping branches, shedding and falling,
the occult hunting magic of the lake
that keeps everything eerie, wary, and estranged
as they take what they need from each other
with a yelp, a howl, a shriek, a squeal to sustain
the lives they’re meant to be living at life’s expense.
You come to mind as the reason why I’m here.
Just a fragrance, the auroral cachet of your image
on the temperate night air. The great blue heron
might embody the silence and the stillness,
spearfishing among the nocturnal water lilies
but me, I’m catching these glimpses of you
like a seance of fireflies among the birch
as if happenstance had a hidden theme up its sleeve.
A resonance, a nuance, as if I blew on a dandelion
and it scattered like a gust of stars out of an urn
into a constellation waiting for me to adorn it
with a myth of origins that might explain it to us both.
The old ashes of the fire pit strewing
dragons of passion again, and it’s ok to speculate
but I keep a bridle in their mouths. I’m not riding
bareback yet. I’m not rescinding my last immolation.
Though there’s something ingenuously thrilling about
the creative commotion of the approach of another galaxy
and the way the fireflies keep stoking my devotion
as if my intensities were about to go supernova
after so many years of emotional implosion, I’ve been
singing lullabies in braille to black stars
just to get to sleep at night without anyone noticing.
I’ve been wearing a halo of X-rays around
the omnidirectional event horizon of a black hole
I thought I’d given myself up to by acclamation
like the incommensurable solitude of a singularity
that had escaped itself into an alternative universe
every bit as absurd as I was, with equanimity.
I’m sick of pain. Too many squalls arising
out of nothing, too many red dawns, too many
shipwrecks turning into coral reefs that rip the hull
out of the moon like Caesarians, hearts bashed
like pinatas at the birthday parties of the sacred cartels
and everyone’s simple, quiet dream of everlasting love
and all its attendant protocols, observed with genuine feeling,
lovers mesmerized by the shadows of the things they want
but can’t quite be. Unconditional love, if its abstractions
are blooded by experience, crueller than
the sado-masochistic discipline of a saint.
Never abandoned love, just somehow came to feel
erosively disqualified, as if my starmud,
though it bore other fruits, yielded harvests
and danced under a blue moon like a scarecrow
left out to face the winter alone, would never bring forth
those flowers again. As they faded
like Confederate money into a more perfect union
of absurdity at peace with itself. Approximately.
Everything being the interpretation of an interpretation.