It was summer and night in this city in the desert
and though the heat of the day had diminished
it lingered long, humid on our skin
as we lay on the grass and watched a hundred stars fall.
Following the exercise in a poetry book
I divided my page with a vertical line
labeled one column love and the other hate
and filled each list with my scribbled passions
We are too young to know how to do this.
I’ve read a book I found in the city library.
We have acquired the vocabulary.
We sit on the edge of your bed, fasten one another’s eyes,
say the words for what we will do.
Why would I not stop and gaze
on the sidewalk beside the orthodox church
as the Sunday morning faithful file inside
Crippled sun lying low,
hugging tops of trees…
Churning through the first rough grind,
the slurry of coarse grit and violent impact
tearing sharp edges from rough stones.
Three point one four one five nine two six and
that’s as many places as I’ve ever known.
Because what’s the point of memorizing cold numbers?
However long, they will never touch you where you stand
apart from me, always in sight, just out of reach.