Being There


Right now, this August night,
It seems as if you’re lying on the lawn
Watching falling stars named by the paper
As fragments of the comet Perseus,
But here’s the real scoop:
You are standing on the sides of grass,
Which make a very narrow ledge
On the leading edge of the planet
As it races toward 2:00 a.m.,
For you are like snow, unable to cling
To outcroppings of perpendicular,
Needing at least a sliver of not too far
From horizontal to hold your white feet.
Remember the centripetal winds that fasten
You to the earth, or, like Peter,
You may come unglued and sink.
Cast your eyes about like a net
To gather the stars that are yours.
Keep your hands free to brush
The others from your hair;
They’ll scorch if they stay too long
Staining the fragrance of the night.


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