on star burials
we take the heavenly body
& wrap it in pink tissue paper.
edges singe. the star
lays like a guava or a mango
in the palms of my hands.
still warm from centuries of use.
i remember how when i was small
my father held me up to change
light bulbs inside the porch lamps
because only my hands were small enough
to reach inside. light bulbs
cool & dead bird in my arms.
my father & i with our hiking boots
& our backpacks full of gardening tools
for digging. what did your father
teach you how to burry?
mine was big on star watching.
he told me he had wanted to be
an astronomer but instead
ended up a grave digger for stars.
watching them through the night
& waiting for one to flicker &
go dark. hotel signs that blink
on the highway between here
& the next town over. we sleep
in parallel beds. the bible is
a lunar landing. satelittes
in butterfly nets. he has to make jokes
about the star in order to make
our task less solemn. he says,
"Why couldn’t the star stay focused?
He kept spacing out." the star whispers
a story about a falling tower.
terrified, my father instructs me
to start breaking earth. the worst part
is when the star is remembering.
fires & darkened skies & the lovers
of so many stones ago.
we burry them in the backyard
& sometimes if i put my ear to soil
i can still hear their ghosts.
they say, "it is gone anyway"
& "he used to hold me. he used to."
fading is a sacrament.
patting the earth as we walk away.
he will not speak to me for days after.
i'll pick up the phone.
a call from him. just silence.
filling his pockets with white hote comets.
i always wonder if he finds a place
to sob like i do. beautiful beautiful star.
heavy & sleeping. sometimes,
i wish they would all wake up
& make embers of what i know.
i wonder where they go. a new sky.
this time indigo instead of black.
above the heads of other creatures
& their fathers & their hungers.