What We Wish the Stars Not to Tell
I never want to be too comfortable
with what we’ve done. Even when Gravenstein
apples hang heavy on the thin trunked trees.
When the rows are plowed to dirt. Even when
the wind dies down and lets the dust settle.
I never want to see what’s lifted
us out of our past. Joe is not a child
anymore. He’s tall and strong, arms thickened
and browned. Some days, when I let myself stop,
and see your ghost in him: your wide forehead
your blue eyes, your cathedral smile.
To him you are less than a memory—
some Odysseus I conjure up at night.
I can still remember holding Joe’s plump
toddler hand as we lay on the porch to
see the stars at night: that one there is
where we began out East; that powdery
path is our journey West where we found you
the brightest star at our center. These days
our loneliness has grown sturdier like
the trees. It stretches out in long, neat rows--
and if we ache enough, bend, break enough
your ghost flickers past. And when night falls
we wish for the cold erasure of fog.