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