Under the deepest, darkest sky,
I drive home. Only the stars
tacked across its bruise-blue
surface keep it from falling,
collapsing around me like a sheet
draped over a forgotten chair.
I would have loved you hard
and well, torn into your chest
and cradled your shivering heart.
Faint, twangy voices cut
into the college radio station
every few seconds, crying out
of the static about love and loss
in a language too fragmented
I would have been your keeper,
building walls of warm-colored
brick around your spent form.
Out the window of the rusted
white pickup just ahead, a man
flicks a still-lit cigarette, its embers
scattering violent orange across
the highway—the only color
in the night.
I would have pinned you in black
and white, in photographs, until
you saw the grace in your body.
Over the horizon a water tower
peeks, bulbous and pale-glowing,
a second, smoother moon—
no pockmarks, no shadows.
If a man set foot on its surface,
he left no print.
I would have let you scrawl
in the margins of my every page,
pen strokes and question marks.
The light from the dashboard
casts a wavering violet glow
on the windshield, and for a brief
moment, I see an aurora borealis
shimmering in the night sky,
and I am somewhere else.
I would have wrecked your mind,
left my things littered everywhere,
painted apologies across the walls.