Through the net: a wheel of stars, a satellite,
the winking of an aircraft bound for Nimes.
Your hand in mine is hot despite a breeze.

From the river: the low hoot of an owl,
a screech and rustle on the bank.
All day I’ve barely said a word, each sentence

warped and dizzy, my voice
a stranger in my ears. Cassiopeia,
the Pleiades, Orion’s Belt, the Milky Way –

I know the rhyme,
know the ones that twinkle
are stars, the ones that don’t are planets.

I know the law of physics: the bright one straight ahead
might now be dead,
its light-waves travelling after.

Our daughter’s sleeping in a hammock,
her phone still sending music
to her ears. I used to know

the names for all of this. You say love,
say devoted, say desire.
All I can say is, look at all those stars.




(published in Stand issue 17.4, Jan 2020)

Copyright © Sharon Black 2017