David McAllister, Geminids


the stars we see are memories
of light before implosion scary
to think something so eternal
is already dead and living
now as somebody else
a cloud of gas a planet or moon
perhaps another star
visible only to those who view
the present in the future

do you ever wonder
what stars have already gone out
in the short time since earth
was cold when winter stretched
over a month or two when
we turned our eyes to meteors
and made wishes after a day
diligently loading my things
my clothes my desk my then
sparse collection of books
into the latest room I rented
off at the end of Triana blvd
(I had been couching from
apartment to apartment for a few
months now the lowest rung
of privilege but still I held on)
as soon as we lopped everything
in my bedroom we found
ourselves a secluded marsh but
I’ve no recollection how we got there
just dead cold silence I remember
and an icy fist gripping my bones
I remember inky waters
surrounded by reeds deep
with vacant dense uncolored dark
and of course I remember you and me
our butts against the car-door
huddled together for warmth

we watched the spread of milky-way
in anticipation of her tears fireballs
ripe for wish-making but I
saw only questions animating
darkness questions
of how to turn the hunk of anxiety
inherited from childhood to an adult
feeling like no one no self no me
after suppressing gaiety
for years how could I make
a gay-man out of memories
of inconsistencies and what of love
when even stars so bright
had already faded

the first streak struck the sky
I followed your finger
touching the horizon I studied the distance
looking for my wish when it appeared finally
in that bright cold memory do you remember
I wished only for you and though
the moment is gone the light
from that falling star has yet to fade

David McAllister is a poet and mathematics major. He writes to combine a contemporary, scientific understanding of nature with poetic imagination. When not studying or writing he spends his time tutoring students in mathematics and physics through a non-profit he founded and runs.

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