Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Poem for the Perseids

Photo by over.hilowsee, used with attribution via cc license

The traffic signal pulses first green then red, a quasar
of the suburban landscape. The street lights halo
a crumpled Starbucks cup, a yard-sale flier,
and a hubcap, protecting me from my own dark-
adapted eyes. I lie down on the dew-drenched
grass of the empty football field, my sandalled feet
already cold and wet. The sky glows in imitation

dusk at 2 AM. I refuse to give up. Right now
the earth whirls through the detritus of an ancient
comet. When I close my eyes, the dizziness spins
me through space and time, but I am no closer
to understanding this need to witness dead
embers burn across the night. It is clear            
and even though the moon cooperates,

there will be no true dark here. The chill
slowly seeps through my borrowed jacket.
I can count the number of meteors on one hand
and still have fingers to spare, but even that
is not why I stay. In the morning,
I will stare through a bright blue August day
to see your invisible splendor and be satisfied.

---LJ Cohen, 8/11/13

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