The Starfarer's Wife




As children, we lay on banks of green grass

and watched the stars,

knowing nothing of guile.

You told me you would one day reach them

and I laughed, thinking it nothing

but a childish game.


We grew together and I grew into myself,

until, when next we spoke of stars,

you kissed me, sitting on the autumn bank,

the taste of red bean cake

still sweet on my lips.

In that moment, I became aware of a sky

so vast, it could bury us.


When your dream at last was realised,

I saw you to your ship,

sleek and sharp,

a steel-boned marten with a pelt of glass.

I watched with eyes rimmed red

as you became a speck of brightness

in a sky already crammed to death with light.


Now, two years have passed and I carry my grief

like a stone, heavy and low.

I scour newsfeeds, watch the stars, waiting

for mention of your name.

I sit at banks of yellow clay,

wishing I could be be as malleable,

as muddied, swirling in the rushing water

like two small children

who knew nothing of guile.


I wonder if the ship sang your death-song

so that you did not die alone,

or if your gwisin wanders the cold of aether

with no flowing river to point your way,

seeking paths alone

among the unfamiliar stars.


If you have found your peace

beside the bodies of divinity,

then I shall clear the grasses of the bank

and wait no more.

But failing that, my love,

please send me note of your passing

on the back of light from stars long dead

and I will call your name three times

to bring you home.





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