Frank Bidart / Star Dust
Above the dazzling city lies starless
night. Ruthless, you are pleased the price of one
is the other. That night
dense with date palms, crazy with the breath-
less aromas of fresh-cut earth,
black sky thronging with light so thick the fixed
unbruised stars bewildered
sight, I wanted you dazzled, wanted you drunk.
As we lie on our backs in close dark parallel furrows newly
dug, staring up at the consuming sky, light
falling does not stop at flesh: each thing hidden, buried
between us now burns and surrounds us,
visible, like breath in freezing air. What you ignore or refuse
or cannot bear. What I hide that I ask, but
ask. The shimmering improvisations designed to save us
fire melts to law. I touched the hem of your garment. You opened
your side, feeding me briefly just enough to show me why I ask.
Melancholy, as if shorn, you cover as ever each glowing pyre
with dirt. In this light is our grave. Obdurate, you say: We
are darkness. We are the city
whose brightness blots the stars from night.