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"The Stars Are Made of Ash"

             The stars are made of ash
             and dust and ancient bones
             and what is left
             when death for stars has come and gone.
             They are not the souls of righteous travelers,
             nor stepping stones to paradise,
             but fossils in the sky, their light the ghosts
             of those that died millenniums ago,
             light that burns my eyes, predicts my death.
             And even now my flame grows close;
             it barely warms so little left
             as my shoes lie empty below the bed
             and songs are sung outside.
             Women move about the rooms --
             women I don't even know:
             "Do you want this on or off?"
             "Do you want your pillow soft?"
             then leave my sight too soon
             while snow descends like stars.
             I'm ready for this ending,
             this lawless heart to rest,
             to turn to dust and ash and whatever's left
             when breath leaves from my sleeping
             and the twilight passes on.
             For I have heard the ghosts of stars,
             their stinging cheerless song,
             and I am weary from the pull of it,
             impatient to be gone.

                 (c) Michael Stephens

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