If I bend my neck back just enough
each wrinkled crease a slithering earthquake of skin
I can see where the tallest spruce
begins to pierce the bottom edge of the sun
in just a moment its yolk will run out
and be absorbed by the softest bits of sky.
And I know I could chase the sunset,
refuse to be pressed into that final chill of night
like a pen forced to black ink.
I would start a slow jog
bounding past withered lawns,
doors shut against the rising dark.
Past the end of day and my
dog’s last, faint howl.
But I know I couldn’t keep up
my legs are kindling burned too quickly.
Before I’d have to turn and face
the blade of each jagged shadow
I might steal a car
adrenaline a tiny fire
in each quivering finger.
I would scream into the last rays of light,
windshield catching the sun while
it makes war with bugs and bits of earth.
But even then my engine would cough and wheeze
there is no cheetah that can run so
fast, so long.
So I would have to hop on a jet
and explode into the air.
And there above the world
I could stay suspended on bits of string
hung from wispy clouds forever
sunlight woven to pieces
of morning and afternoon
And I might even have used enough energy
to trick myself into thinking I had lived.
But instead, oh
instead I will stay on this porch swing
and shiver just a little.
I will count each star
and I will connect them into a scorpion,
a bear and a small silver ladybug.
Eventually my chin will fall
and fuse with my chest, my eyelids will rattle shut.
And these three will pull themselves from the night sky
drifting down to dance just beneath my skin
their looping tracery a ward of heart
that I will take with me when I
visit the deeper parts of dusk.