The stars
carve a false

of forever
the monolithic

of night. If only
we might say

them right. If, 
we read

their points
as primmer text
for endings,

then we might
their bodies

write and die
like ours. And yet,
like smiles,

they’re pre-
literate as floods
and caves,

as bone-black
hands and beasts.
We’ve left

their muted signs
for circumpolar

the vaulted
tonnage of sky,
the bad- 

of network, 

of online friends and
cloud storage. They
hang, unknowable

as death
is to the children
in us, short-

sighted and small. 
I feel we,
taller now, misread

this light from
eviscerated stars
and it recalls

how we used
to look
at letters,

those once hot
of words gone cold

like this. Before
we knew
to distrust

these red, orange,
yellow, green
blue, violet skins

of eternity,
which the tallest lied
to us about.

As their rote sounds left
our tongues
for ears,

and our eyes entered
their salve
of shape and color,

we grew and
we loved    it seemed    
the letters 

loved us   for a time
I tried    did as they said 
to claim them.

We sang, I sang,
(wasn’t that you, singing?)
Now I know

my ABCs
with puppets,
chocolate milk,

cheese crackers?
We smiled
at my Teacher,

who beamed
above us, so tall
above our song,

the strings
she hung

above the black-
or spilled

from the canopic
jars of her

mouth. There,
she contained our
five millennia

of carbon. There,
if we could say it:
The fake

eternity the stars
like letters cut

from song
whenever we start
singing words

to fill
what empties
between us.