The orphan stars


Lance Sheridan

Abandoned astral light dropping as stones
Into pickets of waves whose silhouettes are
Darker than the night sky because it is lightless.
The sea is a well. The stars drop silently.
They seem large, once held in space, now
Motionless, save for the fall; distressed and
Anxious, they are eaten by the moonlight.

Astraea sees that the heavens are different.
There is a sense of absence in a once
Shining place. The stars have always treated
Her well; but like children, they are wan, and are
Dulled by much traveling. They drink from the
Small night chill and shut their weary eyes.
She, a puritan, searches, does not overlook them

By looking too hard. They are sparse in the sea,
Yet, infinite dust shyly on a shore. Nevertheless,
Astraea accounts for them all. On this night, with
A view of the sky, she places them in a new
Constellation, Ophiuchus…

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