Moonless Night

The milky way rainbows above us
you say it is a weak name
for such a glory.
The sea is one shade of charcoal
darker than the sky
and we cannot even see the island –
only the lighthouses
are stars pinning sky to sea
and there is land
across the water.

Living there alone, climbing stairs and keeping
lamps burning in turning towers
not speaking or seeing anyone for months
you would not know the other beacon
at the island’s far rim
but they speak to us together and say
here is an island.

Grass that was gold in late afternoon
has folded the colour of wheat
into the colour of night.
If I curled up like a stone on this hillside, I would be
as real as the hill, as solid and as old,
as unquestionable as wallabies in the shifting dark.

Walking a narrow path between all that grey
I take my hand out of my pocket.
You catch it, and we walk inside the grey night
wrapped in sea and stars.
Holding hands, not looking at flocks of questions
or the old hurts which come again
as if through channels in rock,
not speaking, knowing
our worlds touch but spin
with loneliness of different keys.
For a moment inside and so not needing
words which divide
sea from sky, wallaby from stone,
our questions from the gentle night.

The world, the island
exist, whether I believe in them or not,
the round hills still cradle, bear us.
Apart from this, I do not know
what is real or what I want, only we long
to be lights at the edge of the sky
shining and fading and shining
inside the blurred dark horizon, saying
there is land here
across the water.

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