Star Burial

Metaphors illumine the sky
on the night that he dies—

the dimmest stars
invite themselves in
and syllables peel from the tongue’s rind
tearing softly along the rim of heaven
like breath
frosted with blue fire.

Alone now,
inscrutable now, a spirit ferrys,
chuffing and catching the eddies
that purl around the bolide’s bright prow,
as warm mantels
replace the network of flesh
slowly melting its marmoreal veins
into the mouth of mica and dirt.

The sprawl of treetops comb the guilt
separating some smooth luminous intelligence
around their fading knuckles,
through tendons and witch-broom,
while one stands
gazing in a field above the unkempt horizon

lost in a mirror
that vibrates with lonely pyres,
frigid and numberless.

(c) Seth Grube