for a Missing Friend
by Dina Ben-Lev
Winner of the 1991 Sapering Hol Press
nothing to hate on Mars.
No canals filled with old Chevy.
No children pushed
by parents to angry to listen.
Our necks hurt from looking up,
the universe is easy:
velvet ceiling where planets take turns,
behind a veil of clouds,
Pluto, the bruised baseball we could
and the Milky Way,
chalky with hot meteor.
Stars live for million of
before losing heat. Saturn is
surrounded with enough ice bullets
break all the windows in America.
A boy next to me wants to ride a comet tail.
mother shushes him with: Later.
What if the arrows drifted off the ceiling,
pointing to the pretzel man who came in
to escape the heat, the girl
row who dreams of a dead lover,
the party of old women: each remembering
moon fully hers.
When the lights come on,
we can barely see.
this SHP Title
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read by the author,