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by Mary Jo Balistreri

In the indigo cloth of night, small lanterns
blink heated signals for possible mates.
Tumbling from the green-stained shade
of willows, sparks stitch the air
in zigzag extravagance.

Stars burn above with nuclear fire, pulse
across unfathomable miles to touch us
with another silent presence. Reflections
shine from our eyes, shower the lake in gold.

In our netted tent, we lie under the bright canopy
of constellations, and though we can't find
the Big Dipper in our southern view, the red eye
of Antarus beams and The Swan flies, wings
outstretched, long neck like an arrow.

Content, we close our eyes and listen
to the unseen sounds—skitter
of small creatures, soughing pines,
shushhh of katydids. A wolf's wail
echoes from the hills.

I reach over for your outstretched hand, notice
your hair—silvered, as if the moon had run
her fingers through it. The fireflies bed down.
We, too, zip up our tent as the soft fall of rain
recites evening's last poem.


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