every indigo evening I scoop up the night sky
within the palms of my dirty
earth-stained hands
there’s still the dark damp soil
of the day’s passing
beneath my nails and the dried banks
of river beds from those afternoon tears

still, I pick out the stars and the space dust
and the sun-smudged traces of clouds
sifting through them before
gazing closely in to their depths

there I observe sweet memories
scenes of us, dancing over green lawns
our fingers entwined and
laughter spilling from my lips
while yours curled in quiet delight

you always loved the way I kicked up my toes
sending bits of grass and dandelion seeds
skyward to become lost
floating in the hidden stars of tomorrow
even the edge of the river wasn’t safe
from my wild youthful exuberance
for you brought out all the best parts of me

lifting my skirt as I asked you to dare me
to skip across the glassy currents
knowing I would always slip beneath them
the round river rocks cool beneath my feet
while winter’s warmed up waters
swirled around my ankles and shins

that crisp cool liquid easily slid
past my legs, just like now
where the memories of us fade gently away

now I cradle the night sky of memories
cherishing it even as my soul
shifts slowly into twilight

exhaling sharply, I blow stars and planets out
one by one, then in pairs, then by the dozens
the night grows darker in my palms but
fresh crystalline tears glisten
upon the length of my lashes
eventually gathering in pools before
finally overflowing my banks

they’re the dew drops just before morning
where the sun waits to rest heavy once more
upon my cracked care-worn hands
and weary shoulders

I turn my face to the west and
ache for the night
even as the sky turns pink behind me

tara caribou | ©2019

Read this and more in my poetry book, Four.

44 thoughts on “Hesperus

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