an interpolation of Sappho

I lean back to steady myself. The sky, older
than I, yet freshly crushed velvet. I watch the moon
rise, rub out the stars, pass overhead, pass
under into out-of-sight. Next, an oval, a cluster
of blurred light smears hours by: the Pleiades.

The night is now half-gone, youth goes
with these eternal sisters, hands decorated
by kisses, dark curls framing bronze eyes,
arms reaching into the blackness,
embracing fire and tendon.

The night is now pale blue,
the sisters set. I am in bed, alone.

First published in Ancient Alternatives
Copyright © 2003, Mary Alexandra Agner

Image Credit: NASA

Mary Alexandra Agner's poetry appears in North American Review, Passages North, Puerto del Sol, and The Literary Review. She's at work on a novel-in-verse, Queen of the Steppe. Recently, she was awarded a 2006 Fellowship in Literature by the Somerville Arts Council. All her life she's observed the universe and written about it.