Fade to Night

Fade to night

by Malaya Fletcher

I am never satisfied. Why

do we glory in conclusions,

Chasing endings

With the velocity of shooting stars?

We pass the summer together

Careening along river trails, and

Dashing through woods

Before plunging into a lake

I burrow into the foundation

Of your bones, as we

Watch the sky’s domed amphitheater

Fade to night

Tracing star points mid-air,

We name the constellations,

Their mythologies interspersed

With 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 playmate

A meeting of minds,

They equaled each other

In their exultation of the hunt

Until his death. When

His body washed ashore,

She carried him out of the sea

And flung his body into the sky

You and I share something they did not

In our night explorations, hands seek

The crescent moon of shoulder blades,

Relentless pursuit of flesh

Arrows of kisses pierce my neck

Your hands grip my thighs as I ride towards

Our shuddering conclusion, the prey

Our bodies chase down

Your presence suits me. And

I wonder,

Could You and I

Become “We”?

Fireflies sear the sky

You trace the dot-to-dot

freckles on my cheek

Saying nothing

Stars scatter and day breaks

The strawberry moon’s gleam

begins to fade.

I make no demands

Resignation wars with hope, but

There is no more time for discovery

We 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 west

With the changing season

But endings are not conclusions, for

Artemis will hunt again, and

I will find other constellations

Along the ecliptic plane

I would rather live with longing

Than cling to expectations

(As if promises

Could keep dawn at bay)

Your chest rises and falls

I close my eyes

And sink

Beneath the waves of your breath


Featured in our August 2021 issue, "Celestial"