Stars

The guardian of earthly measures

lowers us, by ropes, so we can see you,

my mother, as a young woman again.

Dressed in cashmere and khaki,

you walk with your friends along

shadowy, moon-dappled streets

until you arrive at the gymnasium

where you watch your new boyfriend,

my father, play basketball against

his cross-town rivals. You have been in love

before and have feelings which linger,

like out-of-town guests, for a boy

back East, but sitting here, you realize

you do not want him the same way

you want this man - this shy, witty man

who is uneasy with women. Already

you sense you will marry him,

that you will have a house together

and a family, but as you sit here,

hands tucked nervously under your thighs,

and watch him dribble up the lane

and shoot, you can think of nothing

other than your love for him, its force

and depth, how you will be washed

in its thick, aqueous light until you lie

side by side looking up at stars

and naming each one.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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