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Night

Night unzips a black dress,
reveals the thousand
thousand freckles
brilliant on her back.

How long have small astronomers
studied these curves and parabolae?
Look for the hunters and heroes
drawing back their arrows
upon her shoulderblades,
look for lion and lyre,
look for Cassiopeia queen
and Cygnus swan

look for the favorites asleep
beneath Night’s breast:
Alpheratz and Procyon,
Regulus and Rigel,
Aldebaran, Sirius,
the wild wolf of Sirius,
look for countless other
unnamed children aglow
and clinging to
the hip of Mother Night.

How many hidden worlds
does this celestial body
carry on the black pores
of her flesh? How many
civilizations?

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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