How to Weave the Stars



Begin before Confucius,

before China's first emperor


thread the stars in tales,

in storied constellations


casting Altair as a cowherd

uplifted to Heaven's height


a star-crossed lover stranded

from sweet Vega by a river


longing longing longing

for their yearly reunion


when magpies, moved to mercy,

form a bridge of wings—


that single night together

before another year apart—


weave a thousand variations

on their meeting and parting


celebrate it in festivals

millennium after millennium


then let mercy move you too,

let them slip their posts


let them leave hand in hand,

unwatched, unsung.










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