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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