Perseid meteor, by John Walker

Image Credit: John Walker

We climbed the hill in pairs. This was
the summer we met the Lorenzi, both brought
cans of cold beer; the Severin were newly
married and packed sandwiches in plastic
bags; Diana was in love with Michele and
invited his friends to come in bicycles.

It was a moonless evening, stars glittered
from velvet-black sky. We exchange jokes about
the Greek, someone started a lecture on
correct observation of meteors. Smoke from
our cigarettes lifted a microcosm of the Milky Way.
We arrived and looked up from sunburnt grass.

By ten o'clock our napes were aching.
We left for a round of drinks at the nearest bar,
then lost sight of each other one by one:
the Lorenzi moved to another town, the Severin
stopped writing after their son died, Michele
started courting Diana's cousin twice removed.

Years later, a tv documentary focused on
the St Lawrence Tears phenomenon. We were
busy discussing divorce. It was half-past one
in the morning: the best time to admire
spectacular fireball shows. Inevitably, we raised
our voices; we had no time for infantile wishes.

Copyright © 2005, Arlene Ang

Arlene Ang lives in Venice where she edits the Italian edition of Niederngasse. Her poetry has been published in Envoi, The Pedestal, Rattle, Smiths Knoll and 2River View. Her first full collection of poetry, The Desecration of Doves, is available through Amazon and Barnes&Noble.