I built a constellation from my bones,
strung it up like laundry,
and evening hauled it over the tar-black pines.
And now my constellation veers, a swarm of stars
useless for navigation;
with no Polaris to guide you and your dozing
shipmates toward a new island of honey.
I concentrated my constellation,
wedged its wasp nest above the beam
of the moon and its backdrop swollen
with gods and dogs: with hardly room
for a new pattern of going.
Others extend like mouths or snakes
about Orion's ankles. But my
constellation fills the sky with its axe,
and each night it chops a dipper into fuel
to feed its own brute fire.
It will chop more, will level
that prickly forest of far.
When my constellation veers,
even the sun recoils from its luster.