SELF-PORTRAIT AS GALILEO SEEING A STAR THROUGH A TELESCOPE FOR THE FIRST TIME
Thank God I found you, angel’s eye.
When the psalms said heart I said heliocentric.
I said inertia when I wasn’t brave enough to say
injury. You glow like a chandelier made of fire
flies and I watched you dance all night. I’ll
make a map to you as long as you promise
not to be gone the next I look. I listen
with my ear—I listen with my earth. On the
ground, shadows of children feed shadows
of dogs. Am I the only one who hears the close
-ness between gravity and grave? There’s no
light inside the brain, and January’s come with
his mouth full as the old cemetery. My body’s
breaking and no starlight will leak out just
everything they told me I needed to be a good
Christian but I was too curious. The night
usually looks less like heaven, more like heave
of black holy robes stretching to cover us all.
January’s come but don’t worry—I’ve been
sowing little stars on his black dress. I’ve been
telling everyone how I met you naked
and finally. Bright toothed and white, then blue.
My little luminous, don’t worry: even if you
outlive me I’ll be buried face-up,
trying to see you even through the dirt.