I used to count stars the way
I count acne spots, and I’d trace
my fingers through the delicate sky
and pull away, as if I expected
the black fabric to unravel in my hands.
I now play connect-the-dots
as I work across my grimacing face,
disapproving of it all,
of this newfound universe
that’s transposed itself upon my skin.
I’ve never been beautiful.
Yet I didn’t care when I was swept away
by the awe of the waking universe, rustled
by the shivering leaves of a pale
summer morning that draped trees in naked strands
of incandescent lacewing filaments of light.
I never cared when I was young
and my skin fluxed uneven in the sun
with blistered feet and swollen, calloused
hands, because in my eyes the glory
of the world was what was more a phenomenon
than I could ever procreate before my own
unsatisfied eyes, doubled in the mirror.
I didn’t care until I met you.
It wasn’t your fault, but it was mine
for ever believing that you
could mean the world to me, or that
I could lure you into letting me be
your pretty little universe.