In all my life, I’ve never truly seen the stars
I’ve seen only pictures of what the sky should be
Cleared of smog and human light
Glutted from horizon to horizon
With galaxies of stars
And I know, deep in my chest
That when I see the unpolluted sky
Someday, somewhere far from every man
I will weep
At the beauty
At my smallness
At the sheer scope
And the incredible weight of glory
That is hidden from my sight every day of my life
Just above me
Out of reach
In that moment I will weep
For all that I will have gained
And immediately lost again.
Once, you made a promise to a lonely man.
You took him out into the twilight,
And lifted his eyes to the swirling crush of galaxies.
“Your children will outnumber the stars.”
His gaze swept the heavens-
Multitude pinpricks of light-
Until his eyes were filled with starlight and grateful tears.
I stand beneath that same darkened sky,
But the stars aren’t so visible anymore,
Overcome by lights of our own design.
The promise is dim.
One star burns above, alone,
And I wonder if this might be
Moonlight pools in the furrowed fields.
Each grain-topped stalk reaches up
To caress the dark sky’s face.
A hush has fallen over our common earth,
But the heavens are alive with song.
The stars pour forth melodies, harmonies,
Endless arias, spiraling refrains.
Their silver voices sing clear in the night.
Who but God has ears to listen?
Who but God and his legions of angels?
If we could hear but one chord of that song,
We would never again doubt the beauty of existence
Or the perfection of eternity to come,
Wrapped in the symphonies of heaven.
You wanted me to be an open book to you
You wanted me to lay bare my pages for your perusal
To be picked up and casually browsed
Book-marked and dog-eared
And in the end you were angry
That I was difficult, inaccessible
I’m not saying I’m a masterpiece
I’m no Hemingway or Steinbeck
But I can tell you this:
I’m not a synopsis
Not a CliffsNotes guide
No eighth grade reading level novella
I am difficult to grasp
Impossible to master
My words are fluid
My meter erratic
My lyric baffling
I am a mystery even to myself
And a hundred readings will not
Make me anything less
Oh if I could tether you
To me like the moon in orbit
If my gravity could draw you
Into a never-ending dance
Intoxicating and inexorable
Constant as galaxies
If our love had the lifespan of a star
Its radiance could blaze on
And once it had flickered out
A distant planet would still see its glow
Distant lovers would still meet under its light
Thousands of years after we had passed
We read to know we’re not alone.
I write to feel that I am known.
I wrote God’s name on my arm
In permanent ink, tattooed beneath my skin
But it’s only as permanent as this body
Which is dying day by day
So the commitment is not so long
The permanency doesn’t concern me really
Since God wrote my name on his palms
And his body is much more permanent