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  • Susan Luton


Because the night was cold,

we could see more of the stars

through the veil of refinery haze

and we nestled each other in blankets

you pulled from the old Nova’s trunk.


Because I blazed with love,

I failed to sense the stench that sullied

the ball field and the pinholed sky

and I lied that I saw each star-group

you hoped I’d prize the same as you.


Because you blazed with love,

you listened to me recite Whitman:

that man tired of facts who wandered, like us,

into mystical moist night air to watch

the stars, unlike us, in silence.


Because we were fourteen,

the cold science of stars could heat our skin,

and we kissed then talked of moons and planets,

kissed and talked of dwarfs and clusters,

kissed till the dome shrank down to us


on that mystical night

moist with Gulf air,

in that field spritzed

with refinery haze.


Susan Luton lives in Austin, Texas, and is a member of the Writers' League of Texas. She has had short stories and poems published in two volumes of The Río Review (Austin, Texas) and two volumes of Journal from the Heartland (Central Wisconsin). One of her essays was published by the American Journal of Nursing and later was included in an anthology titled Reflections on Nursing. She had a feature article published by the San Antonio Express-News.



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