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when you no longer hate the sun for shining
or curse it for bringing life
to our cold blue speck

when you run out of things to say
i will hold your heart in my hand
so you may count the petals of every flower

every hand that held another holds us
ache for me when i am gone
then realize i never leave you

write our manifesto and burn it
our buried chest of golden coins
will grow to a garden of stars

love it for me as if it is our child
my place is with you

we paint the stars together
when no one else is breathing
the moon hides below the horizon

our neighbors rise from beds
like corpses from their graves
unable to recall the songs

the mockingbird performed at 4 a.m.
the wind whistled down the asphalt
haunted only by coyotes

my modern mercury’s caduceus
is a radio tower pulsing
between realms like dreams

the serpents of his staff
become iron girders riveted to the sky
broadcasting love and fury

to the sons and daughters of lightning
spanning the globe under incandescent shelter
from midnight’s prehistoric treachery

the courier’s gift
signals the dawn

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