Stars—for Jack Myers, 1984

by Mark Cox

Last night, like a match tossed off
onto the lawn, it bloomed and disappeared.
I kept smoking.  And my dog kept

nosing the damp summer grass, one eye
on a door he knew was sure to open.
I thought:

Another friend is dead,
another body I would recognize anywhere
has slipped into the clothing

of a busy street.
Still,
It’s difficult to miss some things.

Tonight, I hesitate again at the porch,
cup my hand around the dog’s ear,
and looking up, fail

to specify exactly what is gone.
I lift his head and make him look
at how the one cloud is so strangely

and unevenly lit
as if the moon were just a big city
but everything that amazes me

cuts no shit with him.
What an odd coincidence, him and me,
and that star that fell,

and all the ones that didn’t,
each of us looking past the other
at nothing in particular.