• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 02
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Last night, as I walked a frozen towpath
far from bar sign neon and sodium-vapour lamps
far from the suburban Christmas tree flicker
I stopped, compelled by sudden darkness to look up

and I strained my eyes against the tarry sky
startled by the multitude of gathered lights
- the brilliance of Orion, his diamond-hilted dagger
slapping at his thigh and the Hunter sisters flashing past

bows tilted, arrows ready for flight. Beyond the hunting ground
other constellations were being strung out in a canopy
for a distant milonga - preparations for wild dancing
at the end of a year that most would wish to stamp into oblivion.

Although my breath was frosting on the soft salt air
I felt in my cheeks a heat stronger than the wood stove
we had so recently gathered round, watching its orange flames
burn fiercer than a December sunset.

On the coldest night of a despairing winter I saw a star
fall to the sandbar out by the dancing ledge
I saw this comet struggle to her feet and clamber to a rock
I watched as she poured light cold and white as a Roman candle -

and from my vantage point above the beach, behind the rocks
I couldn’t tell if this was an end of year display or a distress flare.