Fade to Night

Fade to night

by Malaya Fletcher 

I am never satisfied. Whydo we glory in conclusions,Chasing endingsWith the velocity of shooting stars? We pass the summer togetherCareening along river trails, andDashing through woodsBefore plunging into a lake I burrow into the foundationOf your bones, as weWatch the sky’s domed amphitheaterFade to night Tracing star points mid-air,We name the constellations,Their mythologies interspersedWith our own stories “Orion grounds me,” I tell you,“Wherever I go in the world,I look up and there he is ––Where Artemis placed him.” The Moon Goddess and her playmateA meeting of minds,They equaled each otherIn their exultation of the hunt Until his death. WhenHis body washed ashore,She carried him out of the seaAnd flung his body into the sky You and I share something they did notIn our night explorations, hands seekThe crescent moon of shoulder blades,Relentless pursuit of flesh Arrows of kisses pierce my neckYour hands grip my thighs as I ride towardsOur shuddering conclusion, the preyOur bodies chase down
Your presence suits me. AndI wonder,Could You and IBecome “We”?
Fireflies sear the skyYou trace the dot-to-dotfreckles on my cheekSaying nothing  Stars scatter and day breaksThe strawberry moon’s gleam begins to fade.I make no demands
Resignation wars with hope, butThere is no more time for discoveryWe are a pair of never be’s;Such is the fate of restless souls
Powerless against Earth’s orbit,Orion dips below the horizon.You will travel westWith the changing season
But endings are not conclusions, forArtemis will hunt again, andI will find other constellationsAlong the ecliptic plane
I would rather live with longingThan cling to expectations (As if promises Could keep dawn at bay)
Your chest rises and fallsI close my eyesAnd sinkBeneath the waves of your breath


Featured in our August 2021 issue, "Celestial"