What I meant was stars: lots of them.
What was in the bag: a hundred other bags,
each filled with a star. What came after the world:
silence, lots of it. Like being in a bag for a year,
a portable hole, losing the sensation of sound.
After only two nights stars appear
where there were none. So: I’m sorry. I’m here,
not the star of this poem, nor are you. Nor beauties
in bags draped down by the river in books about bodies
and necks stretching upwards to sky. What comes after beauty
is water, just water, nothing reflecting in it, not even the song
of water. Drink. Take this. It’s yours. There’s no one at work
in the world. No dogs rambling the park.
Nothing in darkness or pressure arising by depth.
What was in the works but ears, ears everywhere,
on the land like leaves, caught up in updrafts like silk,
like slick maps written on it and worn on a body.
You know it’s a beauty. Even seen from a mile,
at which point it’s only a dot, it stretches and grows.
Comes closer. She’s coming for you. She walks like a star.
Towards you. In her bag is a book. Each page
draped with stars. You’ll know her
when she arrives. You’ve seen her breathing before.