My brother & I found a slingshot
& a basket full of stars.
All through the night we ran
deep into the woods
& climbed high into the oak trees
until our legs ached
against the branches, & the shadows
grew thick below us.
& while we were listening for the trains
to fade into the distance,
the washing sound of horses pulling us
home in waves, the moon—
the moon like our mother—gave way
& disappeared over our shoulders.
& in its place we found darkness.
A cavity in the mouth of night
where we took turns dipping our hands
into the basket,
each handful of stars, a new galaxy,
slung out into the cold wilderness
until the mouth swayed
underneath the weight of decoration.
& what few stars were left we divided,
turning them in our coat pockets
with admiration, carrying them down
to the edge of the woods,
down to the clearing, where we could hear
the wind sweep through
thicket & weed not with a harshness—
but a whirr.
A mumbling wind, unsorted, untamed.
& underneath the open sky
the moon crawled back into view
calling for our attention,
calling us home—where in the driveway,
beneath the streetlights,
we took those stars & swallowed them
whole. Each star
a golden marble, a small bead of honey—
radiant & incendiary.
Our bodies glowing like lakes on fire:
dark at times, but full of life.