star gazers

stargazers].jpeg

we drove all day, and into the evening
and when it got too dark to drive,
we parked the van on the roadside
and opened up the back doors.
the moon looked over
the scattering of stars,
like a mother hen.
and in the sun’s absence
all barriers dropped.
our curtains fell,
and all we had on
dissolved into warm ecstasy.
the sky melted into pools of dusky grey,
gathering on the horizon
like water drops down a frosted window.
throwing the doors open
lifted the latch on us.
was it the shimmer of the moon
or the intrusive breeze?
was it the smell of the leftovers
in their tupperware box,
or the ache
from the hard leather seats?
something in the air
led us through the doors and out,
onto the grass to walk about.
you leant on the wooden fence,
and gazed
at the sequin studded ceiling.
the stars had come out that night,
extra bright,
as if they knew.
i held you, pressed my face against
the heat of your back.
i tucked my arms around you
and held you.
as the night lay quiet,
your heart beat through me,
loud and strong.
a bass drum in a marching band.
you were more alive than me
more alive than anything.
your life breathed into mine and
took me somewhere
made for me,
where i would be the only guest.
we saw orion’s belt, and
you were proud of me
because i spotted it.
there were legends in the sky,
stories and survivals,
dreams and departures,
histories and hand-me-downs.
you knew their names,
you told me.
‘there is no number created
that could count the stars
and make me tired
of stargazing.’
do you remember when you said that?
you know, my darling –
God could fling infinite stars across the heavens
and still my gaze
would be fixed
on you.

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