To be honest with you, I have no clue
if it was starry during the night.
I was doing my best to end the day
with the woman I’ve given my heart to.
Forty-eight starry-night years before,
you insisted that all men are bastards
but wouldn’t share the secret that you kept,
preferring instead to say you might love me.
You spoke of finding an empty field
tucked out of sight behind a thick windbreak,
of wrapping yourself in snow, and sleeping
until spring released you once again.
Sitting on a bench by the grayed town square,
I couldn’t disabuse you of those thoughts.
Still, by morning I felt you were, if wounded, safe,
at least for the time being. Death is patient.
Over the years, and the miles, and the changes,
one and another of us talked you off the ledges.
In the end, we were outnumbered by that one demon
you never gave us more than glimpses of by night.
Your favorites saw you off the stage, beyond us:
A bottle of the finest Irish, the pills to be chased down.
I lean against the car, while my wife gives me space
to set a flame to memories, to fill the sky with stars.