astray (draft)

  – george l stein



the dream is premised with an unrequited desire and, light as a feather, floats ever higher
and for a time, favorable winds and ethereal grace are enough
carefree, it navigates shoals and obstacles as if guided by some benevolent, invisible hand
is advanced by a false premise or two, when things begin to get tough
and when the first leap of faith comes up short; trip, stumble, and fall. Now stand
and awaken

the sun is the same in a relative way, but your older
suffer oppressing heat of a deceiving sky
a quiet, backward place between cities of some wealth and substance
night follows day for a vessel that refuses to die
bodies circling bodies pulling bodies still persisting in motion
you know I was willing to share but that wasn’t enough
the infinite pull of blood, loss, regret and sorrow
water gurgles, frogs gasp for air from the trough

after aphelion, summer waxes and begins to fold endlessly into itself,
you take refuge deep inside, day after night, and page after page
vines and snakes become ensnared, twisted and inseparable
headlights race past, chartreuse fireflies light and burn
by degrees, the house disappears under verdant entanglement

full moon in perigee, just after equinox,
the chimes toll absolute midnight
the earth traces the edge around the sun, a collar of apsis
another solstice, nearer in place, but still so far apart, celestial plight
bodies orbiting other bodies in an ordered chaos

the kids run haphazard ’round a last fall bonfire of dead twigs, broken dreams, leaves
pour more gasoline on the pyre until she is helplessly engulfed
arms aflame, extending upward, red sparks race into the sky and dissipate
she cries out but there is only the rush of dry wind in her lungs
her bones were primed but her soul still too wet to immolate
unfinished business, children to be fed,
papers to be filed, planets to be led

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