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art generated by Midjourney


Tonight you will take time to remember
why you could not tell her everything:

why galaxies weep and clovers sing
why each raindrop forgets its name
before it strikes the ground.

Tonight Venus the evening star
will shine brightly enough to inspire myth
but not illuminate a forest.

You will notice a shade of green in the sunset
unlike anything which came before.

You will remember how to dance
but forget how to walk.

No consolation awaits you in the
brick broken alleys between here
and home.

Nothing heals a hopeless heart like the dawn
and mockingbird song strewn across playgrounds
and parking lots in random perfection.

But that must wait until tomorrow.
Your name means nothing to you now
but you will choose one that does.

Think of the animals whose lives you stole
and the ones you cared for. Then ask yourself
how they are any different.

Think of the exceptions to every rule
then realize they are the norm.
Consider why we began breaking laws
in the first place.

Recall Pluto has not completed
a single solar orbit since we discovered it
then stripped it of its planetary status.

Our new year does not belong to the outer planets.
They have their own sense of scale and scope.

If you ever wonder if something as small
as a bee or an ant can feel love
then you don’t understand yourself at all.

Remember this tonight when you stumble home
at 3 a.m. clutching the walls and
groping the empty city.

Remember this when you
break your resolutions tomorrow but hold on
to promises you never intend to abandon.

Tattoo your body with stars
and understand it means
we could never leave each other.

Where could we possibly go that we could not
be together? What canvas in all of history
could have been painted, if not by us?

Our hands held the brushes
as they hold each other now.
We could not let go without
taking all of geology with us
like continents.

This poem appears in the collection Inner Planets: 50 Poems by Matthew Howard. Available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook.