Tonight They Wear Dark

for Gwani and Sidi

A galaxy’s veins were stomped on;
the stars bled a circle; hues of sorrow
intense like the crowns of ancestors.

Perhaps, this wasn’t the space to have
spoken of horses that galloped on lands
with metal hooves – metal wheels loose-

rumbling on metal paths – the roads lined
with cherry trees that flourished and failed,
but the sky ahead never withered of season.

Even when the penumbral light glanced
at the earth like a betrayed lover, there
always was a tunnel leading to a shadow

that wasn’t ghost to lunar star-tides. It was
easy to read the codes on winds over cycles
of twilight, and love exposed forbidden hybrid

of science and emotion. When icebergs
became a renegade feature, they took
down opulence that threatened to over-ride

their grandiose. So they did, tearing into
steel with their blue-ice burning jealousy,
their regard for humans with a kind of love

that trapped them in liquid suspension,
as a memory so exquisite, so special,
their breathing forms embalmed to age

in a loop of that frozen year; fragile pieces
of their existence owned and devoured by
control – lover: saros of toxicity – but tonight

firecrackers would scurry to the sky
from the ocean; people would walk
on ebbing tracks, the soil cold as metal;

and people sinking in ice, thriving as dark
shadows, stories of souls converting to
ancestors – the stars, a soundless projection.

First published in Ekphrastic Challenge on Fin de la Jornada, painting by Emilio Boggio