The Hour of the Stars

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I know the hour of the stars. When the light in the west lowers, day falls beneath the black stone night places over this running field.

The last of the warmth, now just an orange line there – away from me. The cold is unrolled onto the grass, a film that rests on my hand, then chest.

It is here I see the first brave star - come to steady my wandering eyes, come to fasten me to the blackness. And from this star, from the only light I see, comes another, then another point of light presses against the membrane of the evening.

These three are alone for some time – ages it feels, like the ground has shifted below me, like purple night is the only presence to exist hereafter – then, in confidence, like the stringed rising of locusts (almost forgotten now) come the rest.

As I track the moving population of flickering scales above me, I am overwhelmed. For a small moment I remain, hoping to see the triumph of each arrival - and I barely breathe.

Soon I rise, returning to the head-warmth above my witnessing place and pace home across grey grass, ancient stars coming into their new existence, seeping misty light and new cold through their pores.