He slips her some vocabulary,
occlude, one star drops in front
of another, blending their outlines.
Hard to see they are twins, Collaborative
constellating, when six shrug down to five,
lion becomes bear, the world is simplified, realigned.

When she walks his dog at night, she can see
the shadow of his body in the apartment above,
looking down, cannot tell whether he is trying
to speak. His face blocks the light, is all shadows.
She describes Oz as brilliant, and the astronomer asks
her how bright the lights are, if perhaps at night
they were dim enough to see the stars, a trick

the wizard learned from Kansas before the fair.
She doesn’t want to talk about the wizard,
how he assembled astronomy for her birthday
in the throne room, how acrobatic the star
on the left wrist of the shining Colossus was, how
when he tumbled, the whole room slowly waved.
How she felt tears rise to think of devotion this way — variable.

Sarah Ann Winn