Pleiades            Have you seen the Suya
with discs of wood in their lips?
On these discs’ undersides, Pleiades is painted.

Staring at the stars, I am spoken to

of sacrifice:
the richest man is the one without.
            But your hands are clay
in the kiln, trembling, itching to burst.

And your knees are scabby: you are children
again. But the swingsets
have been uprooted and the rusting slide
            rests on its side.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, the Suya are giving up
on tradition,
unable to see
the Seven Sisters past skyscrapers’ lights—

their faces are like your faces.
With time, they will seem one and the same.

And stray dogs tear through the midnight streets.

Oh, how they tear through the dumpsters
and they tear deep into the morning.
            They tear and they tear

and I ask childish questions like
are you up there?

No, they say,
because constellations are soft and cry for no one.

Copyright © 2005, N. M. Courtright

Image Credit: Copyright © Herm Perez

N. M. Courtright, an Ohio native, currently resides in Austin, Texas. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Diagram, Caketrain, Scrivener’s Pen, Dirt, The Pebble Lake Review, and The American Drivel Review.