Artist's concept of a debris disk around interacting binary starsTwin orbits we, locked in a dance
of liquid limbs and symmetry—
stars unfixed and falling fast,
ourselves each other's gravity.

I used to trace one common line
when palm to palm, we wound our way
through other bodies. You would twine
your fingers into mine, and say,

"Always." And I still believe
you meant it, then, and never thought
that you would be the one to leave,
that I would be the one who sought

to keep you near. You went as far
as you thought possible to go,
said, "I'm going to be a star—"
forgot, or maybe didn't know

that you are one. Three thousand miles
is nothing, when you share a sky.
Besides, I wondered, who was I
to slow your ever-changing style?

I miss you. If we never stand
side by side, or hand in hand,
do look my way, once in a while.
Face to face—I think we'll smile.

Copyright © 2007, Amal El-Mohtar

Image Credit: P. Marenfeld and NOAO/AURA/NSF

Amal, who currently hails from the United Arab Emirates, thinks everyone should recite "When I heard the Learned Astronomer" at least thrice a day, the better to live by the spirit of its letters. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, her work has appeared in Star*Line, Abyss & Apex, Chiaroscuro and Shimmer. She keeps an LJ here, and co-edits Goblin Fruit, a webzine devoted to fantasy poetry, with partner-in-crime Jessica P. Wick.