for W.E.A II

On a clear night you can look
up and see stars multiply by twos and tens
and millions until everything is wrapped tight
in strands of Christmas tree lights. No sky
no moon, and it is so the only reason
you know the sun has risen is that the Earth
lurches inside your knees. I imagine
this is what is happening to you. The stars
inside your abdomen just keep dividing,
squeezing onto your fabric until it is all
star, not liver nor colon nor blood.

When we crashed my old white Nissan
the cops searched under the seats.
A decade of dust poured with Nirvana
from speakers cranked by an axle
that just wouldn’t quit. Side-by-side
on the curb we giggled
into our necks and sang.
You told me my voice was too high
for Kurt Cobain . Your voice was the hum
of the tape deck in the dark.

I bought you cigarettes. You shared
your weed. This is how we loved.
In flannel and from the tired rope swing
and the pond behind the Byzantine church,
your ring on a shoelace around my neck.
The sun set your back on fire as we dug
out the earth to fill it with water. My father said
I was never where I was supposed to be but
I was always exactly with you.

You with your sneakers on my dashboard –
arm out the window catching the wind
as it split past that space preserved.
Where the watch and its maker were
for once, still. No belly-laughing sun
No chattering star. The only sound
the spindle turning in the dash.

For Christmas I gave you Civil War books.
You gave me my first CD player. It still plays
though Kurt has passed. What were we,
save the owls and the whispered grass
when the stars burned in the sky?

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