Poems by Frank Bidart

Lament for the Makers

Music Like Dirt

Star Dust

 



Star Dust

Above the dazzling city lies starless
night. Ruthless, you are pleased the price of one

is the other. That night

dense with date palms, crazy with the breath-
less aromas of fresh-cut earth,

black sky thronging with light so thick the fixed

unbruised stars bewildered
sight, I wanted you dazzled, wanted you drunk.

As we lie on our backs in close dark parallel furrows newly

dug, staring up at the consuming sky, light
falling does not stop at flesh: each thing hidden, buried

between us now burns and surrounds us,

visible, like breath in freezing air. What you ignore or refuse
or cannot bear.
What I hide that I ask, but

ask. The shimmering improvisations designed to save us

fire melts to law. I touched the hem of your garment. You opened
your side, feeding me briefly just enough to show me why I ask.

Melancholy, as if shorn, you cover as ever each glowing pyre

with dirt. In this light is our grave. Obdurate, you say: We
are darkness. We are the city

whose brightness blots the stars from night.

 

 

From STAR DUST (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005)