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Jul 2014
we used to sit
under the stars
at midnight
looking for the invisible connections
in the infinite tangle of points of light
you would draw little planets
and comets
and stars
on the back of my hands
and tell me the universe
was in my grasp

you always told me about
how your father
was an astronomer
and how he painted out the night sky
for you
on your bedroom ceiling
before vanishing into the world
without leaving a forwarding address

you’ve slept on the couch in the living room
ever since

that was eleven years ago
and the only way you can remember him
without your heart and mind
going into supernova
is through the stars
and even if your mother screams at you
to give up on him,
that the little illuminators
of the darkest part of natural life
have been dead
since before you were even a product
considered by any of the factors
on the whole earth
you still go to them
because they are the closest thing
you have to a mentor anymore

but they started to eat at you
and your state of mind
you lost borders
and crossed boundaries
some nights,
my face was darker
than the bits of sky
around the objects
i know
you loved more than me

you were never meant to lose so much
not with starry wonder eyes like yours
and a heart as big and warm and selfless as our Sun

it took a toll on all of us
when your mother chose to leave
instead of kicking you out like she said she would
she knew
no matter how you refused to sleep under your father’s handiwork
you couldn’t dare leave
the last thing
you were sure he touched

i think you touched everyone
with a bit of fire that day

anger and grief should never mix
they create combustion
much like that of hydrogen and helium
when set to a spark
i came away shedding skin
and sung
and smoking

i don’t know where you went after that day
you broke your promise with your father,
the one you never voiced aloud,
the one you never told him,
the one where you swore
you would never leave

but your house lies empty
and the constellations in your bedroom forgotten
by all except me

i still lie under the stars
-- this time in the center of the road
and this time past midnight --
and draw links between the constellations
which shine less and less bright
every night since your following
your icon into the dark

i still draw patterns
of moons and planets and asteroids
-- this time on my palms --
because i miss having the universe
in my hands

but when i look up
into the points of dead light
all i can feel anymore
is its vastness
and its oblivion
and its menacing gaze back into me

and it reminds me unfailingly of you
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