He still cannot see far enough
to understand them.
Deep in the desert sky,
far beyond the bears and the archer,
chaste conception.
Spectral columns
(tall as light years)
stretch like forgotten screams
nod, billow,
giving birth to stars.

Meanwhile, mourners
surround yet another catafalque,
this time in Davidís city.
They nod,
sing of a leader
wounded in the house of friends.
Lost in peace psalm echo,
they promise again to break knives,
to lose them
in a churning river
slowed by the heavy dead.

The man in the west
spent years staring into star splatter,
through luminous pulsing,
seeking the wires, the machine
of star throb, wheeling galaxies,
tunnels for souls. No engine.

At grave side,
the granddaughter of the slain leader
that nothing can replace the caress,
the knowing half-smile.
Luminous clouds burgeon.

Now, the man doubts all machines,
forgets to wonder,
no longer stares beyond.
Astrocytomas and other lesions
press down
invade vaults of memory
leaving catacombs.

Beyond the mourning
unborn stars feed on hydrogen,
dust. Stars begin with collapse.
The granddaughter
says the pain
does not allow the space for revenge.

© Robin Lindley, 1995

Robin Lindley is a lawyer working with medical-legal issues in Seattle. His drawings have been published in Seattle Weekly, Remedy, and Newsweek. His poetry and drawings appeared in the first issue of Switched-On Gutenberg.