You can see them so clearly when it's cold outside, they're like tiny diamonds in navy blue velvet. I wonder if many people see them like this, as things that are infinitely beautiful, or if they just wander underneath them, going through the motions of life without stopping to look and see the beauty around them. It comforts me when I think that almost everyone, no matter how jaded, has noticed and been stunned by the beauty of the stars once in a while, whether walking alone or in the arms of another.

My friend brings out three lit sticks of incense and I lay down on the icy concrete in only my pajamas and socks. It's January and about three in the morning in a deserted suburban neighborhood. She's been smoking a cigarette and wants me to see how the smoke looks against the stars, but I don't smoke. The smoke from the incense and my icy breath in the air create a perfect transient veil for the stars. The cold ice against my back and the smell of incense and cigarette smoke enveloped me and...I didn't think that there could exist anything more perfect than this moment. Until the danger of frostbite became a real possibility, we stayed out there, staring at the ten thousand frozen, burning stars.

Ten thousand frozen, burning stars now grace
The ephemeral veneer that passes for your face;
Full long, till night and morn, have I looked at you
And found in passing miracles sparkling true –

A clash, a scream made silent by space
As gods and Titans war upon your face –
A heartbeat gone, and there remains
But dust, and spreading stains

Coloured blue, and red, and vermillion gold,
Ochre, and aquamarine, silver sevenfold,
Over shadowed darkness, made bright by suns;
Overwhelming beauty this, that moment by moment stuns -

Hercules there roars, and Orion clings -
A little bear there mewls, and a solitary maiden sings
Couplets suppressed by darkening swirls,
Over a backdrop of a million worlds.

And still not over, this procession, of star and star alike -
Aquarius and Delphinus, each a million miles alive;
Four years hence shall there but stride,
Alpha Centauri himself, whom light but struggles to hide.

So far, and far away, I sit,
And stare but hours long,
Watching gem and gem as they fit
And then, like glittering sparks, are gone

If I could, I would but trace a smile –
On lips, perhaps, spread over a billion miles;
A startling, glimmering flash of life
Alone itself would suffice;

Through glassy eyes I look, and find
Every beast of heaven, every monster kind
Angels born right of fire, God himself buried there:
In ash and dust and teeming swirls, hither and thither and there.

Too small a space I dwell, too tiny a world I love,
Beneath thy immaculate gaze, soft lit from above;
Would not I wish but touch – just once I wish –
But I cannot, and like mortal lover, must perish.

Cruel mistress, this dark vacuum of space
Full rife with gems, too many to face -
That blinded alone can one but ever last
Beneath the face of ten thousand frozen, burning stars.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.