A Love Poem for Galileo and Men Who Stare at Stars

On dewy grass in summer nights to the hum of a street light
I swore I could see God in my telescope
And in every airplane a shooting star
And in every star a pinprick in the floor of heaven
Or so my father explained (between drags of his cigarette)
Then when I became so tired and night slipped over my skin like a silk blanket
He bid me –sleep the sleep of angels-
As if I belonged to them, as if I were one of them

With my head on a pillow, and with my mind still roaming the sky
I could see the constellations on the backs of my eyelids
Dotted divinities with their implied figures
Yes, even now, they are there with every blink
I strive to trace them like dot-to-dots in the freckles dashed on my companion’s cheek
And feel the depths of silence we sink in as he cranes his neck to stare at stars
Trying to explain how they are pinpricks in the floor of heaven
(Between drags of my cigarette)
Where we sit on clouds of smoke between cosmos and chaos

Poor Galileo, imprisoned for his proof that Earth orbits Sun
Heretics we are, he and I!
For I always supposed the lesser things revolve around the bigger things
My only proof being that I always spin around you
Stuck out in orbit
Where time moves slowly to the tick tick
Of the moon, which you keep like a pocket watch
Where I am suspended in awe of the universe
In your right eye
On a June night
To the hum of a street light

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