The Perseids (draft 1)

You woke me from a dream in which I skipped
stones on a creek, or was trying, but with stones too thick or jagged to tap
lightly across the surface of the water the way skipping stones ought.
You tickled my nose with a strand of my hair and shook me
so I wouldn’t miss the meteors.

The blanket you took from our bed wasn’t thick enough
to keep dew from chilling my back through the cloth. I fitted
a closed fist against the curve of my spine, the damp on my fingers echoing
the wet stones of my dream. When we first tilted our heads

upwards the sky was clouds, a softer gradient of grey than
the black smudges through which a handful of stars shone, like the pins
and needles piercing a pincushion. Instead of watching the clouds roll,
reveal the faint band of the Milky Way and the trailing meteors, I watched you.

We had hoped to watch pieces of the sky fall, little
lights that I imagined might burn like the sparks from a firecracker.
But the clouds weren’t listening when the newscaster told us
about the peaking shower, the hundred meteors an hour in dark, clear places
like cabins in the mountains. You mistook a firefly for your first shooting star.


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