Painting with Stardust
Shudders agitate my shoulders while my insides
turn to stardust
and I try to sculpt satisfaction from the unshaped clay before me,
tracing the lines of her face and arms and breasts softly,
knowing the image I am shaping will be less created than revealed.
When I at last form fingers and can clasp the newly freed hand,
we’ll waltz above volumes of yellowing brittle paper in which
are recorded histories no longer cherished, feeling
the pages crumble irreversibly under the soles of our feet.
To the east of Orion, the mighty Horsehead shakes stars
from its mane and they fall like raindrops, the children of oceans,
that go on to beget rivers that in turn give birth to the seas,
joining a cycle around us altogether ancient and constant and new.
My chest opens to spill stardust onto a palette she can mix
with ochre to paint scenes on cave walls of ancient herds
being driven by hunters that seem to move in the torchlight,
the rumble of their hooves silent as sleep eventually takes us.
-- by Steve McKennon, 26 December 2013