he lay there, gasping soot,
eyes open in the black damp
seeing bright flecks, those
spots you see when lids close
or it’s dark as pitch, as now,
those careening constellations,
a dandelion tempest where
none ought to float, and
he thought it looked pretty,
the prettiest it’s ever looked
under the mountain,
then the damp took his
last breath, and then the
men hauled him out, then
filled his grave with stars
plucked from the dark,
to accompany him
in the deep earth