Friday, September 17, 2004

An argument against horoscopes

Tonight, I wanted to go out and gaze
At those little diamonds in the velvet sky,
The watchers of the purple-grey evening,
The ladies-in-waiting of the inconstant moon,
The celestial disco ball’s thousand points of light,
Those heavenly messengers we call the stars,

Because some say that we get our futures from the stars,
That they’re the rulers of our fate, and we can gaze
Deeply into their white-eyed faces full of light
And find our names written on the parchment sky,
And next to them, the inkwell of the moon,
But I’m finding that hard to believe this evening.

You see, every single humid summer evening,
When I would lie on my back beneath the stars,
Seeing only by the wintry glow of the pale moon,
I would stare at them, and they’d return my gaze
As if to say, “You can only read a portion of this sky,
This black page on which the ink is light,

But you, with heavy soul that longs for that feather-light
State, will never see the whole picture—only the evening
Twilight do you know, because you are small and the sky
Is deeper and grander than you know, and we, the stars
Don’t even know anything beyond our own gaze,
Because all we have is the light of a moon

That is only a reflective surface—we see by the moon
As through a mirror darkly. If we, then, the light
By which you see have only a longing gaze
For a larger context, how can you, child of the evening
Dusk, put hope in us, the dying, fading, white-hot stars
To tell a future when all we know is our own patch of the sky?”

And so I drive beyond the deafening city that veils the sky
With its smoke and neon, and beneath the moon
I wander to a place where those distant, winking stars
Smile down on me, and their little candles of light
Flicker at me, and somehow this August evening
Their smallness, and their numbers make me gaze

At a sky that blankets the earth and cradles the moon,
Making me small beneath the stars and their eternal gaze.
This humid summer evening, all I need to know is light.

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