What you know is a lie, Normandy’s stars
are not the same stars trailing above Kentucky.
They are not as silent on the coast, glimmering
passively. They pull magnetic like the blue tide,
they spark without burning my hands, hide within
a new world, we aren’t looking at the same moon.
The people, dusting off kisses, smokedrunk,
they may shoot off lines in a difference tongue,
and dance in foreign ways my body won’t,
but no one is a stranger. We’ve met before
through common ancestors, we’ve met
because our skin touches the same sand.
We point at the wandering Americans
spitting chewing gum into their palms,
who practice fading to silhouettes, ask them
if they know the same things you do, run
as the French band slurs Purple Rain
and the fire on the beach burns hotter.
The boat lights sparkle like the line of blood
dotting the cut on my heel where I ran,
wild wind-like to catch your shadow’s arm,
cracking shells into fractures of artwork.
They flicker like the fireflies that are not here,
in and out, hum the words I don’t recognize.
Unpacking the heart of the earth, we move
blessing her generously with lilting slow dances.
There is something different here separating
beyond the sea into chasms of atmosphere.
I shut my mouth and you tell me phrases
that ring around my head in the dark.
It is not just the stars that are different,
not the people and their houses and towns,
but the I too am not the same as I was,
after soaking in too much foreign smoke,
hazing into a mirage of what I would’ve been,
and burning that image into the snowing ash.