how stars are brighter when you don’t stare at them.
The light how a fall day could feel like spring.
The light how a dog won’t look at you when it’s scared.
The light how an elm is the last to leaf.
The light how on certain nights
it was said that animals could speak.
The light how we named the stars other things.
How often their names were animals.
How their light was said to be very old
and how their dimness lit nothing,
how we often travelled in that dark,
tongue caught—tiled, lie, hilt—the words mixed like soil,
light sleepers, lovers of bulb light
and the burr of machines.
But like others, some nights we slept in the forest
and woke leaf covered,
the burrow from our bodies
shallow with scent. Then nothing would touch it.
Wind soughed in white pine. Stars gone.
The forest outshone them.
— from Juniper Volume 5, Issue 3