Falling Stars
--Perseid meteor shower, 1993

You must not let yourself
be distracted by the blinking lights
of aircraft and radio towers
or by Cassiopeia's luxurious drift

to the west. Even on a good night
they are as easy to miss as the shy
glance of someone you never thought
to love, or the graceful curve

of a dolphin breaking water.
Nor must you wait for them.
You simply have to be there
when they arrive, thin trails

painful as a paper cut and sudden
as the arc of a lit cigarette
thrown from the car ahead
at four in the morning.

Forget why you came here. Ignore
the ache in the back of your neck
and the clusters of other watchers
with their flashlights and star charts.

Let your whole body be an eye
for the spirit, open to a galaxy
of possibilities, a live coal in flight,
as if there were no gravity, no grave.