Stars in the Velvet Scrim of Night: a Poem

Dedicated to Daydream

I never thought I’d see
a face like yours.
That night, I lay
on the cold linoleum
(all alone like a mausoleum
floor).

She clutched a sewing needle,
a bottle of India ink, and
inked in an onyx star.
I thought I was all alone,
but when I looked down,
ink and blood were one.

My skin was a pale white sky
and the star she had inked
was a compass rose on a bone.
(There was no way I’d get lost
now.
Just look down at the map on my hip bone
& I’ll always find home.)

I thought love was intergalactic,
but now, sometimes I wonder
if all it is
is a supernova in a solar system gone cold.

I warmed myself with rocket fuel and dreams.
The fire that glimmered in my eyes
is all but embers now.
I used to find stardust shimmering through
my midnight-dark hair, whole galaxies spinning
through my ebony locks,
but no one thought to look.

I faded (nearly vanished) and that was why
I was so startled to see you,
tethered to me like an astronaut to oxygen.

I saw Saturn’s rings around your pupils
& your eyes shone like stars.
She swore there was a silver halo around mine,
but I thought those words
were from a guitar song she had learned
at summer camp.
You told me something about the lunar glow,
and I knew I could always follow
the tides.

The phases of the moon are my journey,
but if ever I do get lost,
look for me on that ink-dipped star.

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