you tread on dead wood,
your face awash with moonlight
bent down by the soft grey clouds.
you feel music and a scene
where two lovers commingle
breaths in abject tenderness.
i tell you i think you are my answer
to the terror of being alone
in a graveyard of buried stars,
its every dead-ash sun a crumbled cipher
to a universe that gave birth to itself
to answer the very questions i make of you.
i tell you i can look in the green iris pools
of your eyes and not hear blood in my ears;
i hear atoms falling together and falling apart,
and i am so afraid that between our bodies
lies only warped and empty space --
a coldness where nothing moves,
where all are caught in isolate crystal,
an eternity of nothing stirring --
no photon bursts, no hand brushing a face.
i move towards you,
and my mouth makes the shape
of unanswerable desperation.
you ask about constellations,
pointing to a star you think i named
for you -- it still burns, you say,
and elsewhere, they all burn.
i hold my questions in my mouth,
i press my hand to your warm face.
Copyright © 2002 Emily Gaskin
Emily Gaskin currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where perpetually cloudy skies conspire to keep her from ever enjoying use of her new telescope. She has poetry forthcoming in Star*Line, Moxie, and the Dreams of Decadence anthology. For more about her, visit her Web site.