Melissa Kwasny

What Starlight Has Become in the Moving Trees

You say you’ve learned from observing old people that they reserve grief for their closest few. A deer’s gaze: the path not the path-side grasses. We are standing on the brick sidewalk, by your still un-leafed hedge. April sky, color of drowned lilacs. What will be hardest is to lose friends, I say. We have both already lost one or two. I say friends and the sun seems to come closer. An intimate, I remember, her last name suddenly on a storefront sign where I had stopped the car after driving around lost in that strange town. Bear in mind / you are little holding a big person’s glass. I am scared about how nothing stays new. Watching men eating ice cream almost always makes me want to cry. It’s your shameless pleasure. How you wanted to show me the shops. Like a vase on a wooden table when a train comes through, a kind of trembling sings the vacancies in the brush. What starlight has become in the moving trees.

Melissa Kwasny is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Nine Senses (Milkweed Editions, 2011) and the editor of Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950 (Wesleyan University Press, 2004). The italicized lines in this poem are from Richard Miles.
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