In the Halls of Light and Thunder

There is an aurora tonight,
and my pen is heavy.

Friends drove out beyond the light pollution
to witness this miracle-
out to where I came from,
to where my heart
lies beating in the wilderness
where it was forged.

I did not go,
and I have no answers for their questions.
This pen feels like a neutron star.
My soul has flown south for awhile.
That heart, out in the mountains, seems faint-
so faint from here. I strain to hear it.

I wander to the edge
of these suburbs at midnight.
I have no answers for their questions.
The distant voice of the highway
hums in the dark.

I cannot see the aurora, but what did I expect?

A thunderstorm is gathering, though-
quickly, insistently, intently
to the west;
cutting between the solar wind
and the city lights.

It is silent save for crickets
and I force this pen to move,
because I have to.
I have to.

A scent of summer flowers and water cleansing
pulses
nearer.
I force this pen to move
and I have no answers for their questions.

I cannot see the stars,
but they are where they are.
I cannot see the aurora,
but it dances on the face of the earth.

Rumbling echoes fading in the dark.
Electric arclight stabs and spits and forks
staccato into the cloudwall rising.

I strain my ears to listen.
I breathe.
I force my pen to move.

Heavy it may be;
but how else-
how else to hear your heart beat,
to hear you breathe,
somewhere out there,
under a storm of your own
(and, perhaps, a solar wind)?

How else
to hear my own heart,
softly,
singing in the mountains?

A stray dog stops for a moment,
at the edge of these suburbs,
in the rumble-echo,
in the rising summer wind;
we regard each the other in silence.

Finding no questions to ask me,
he resumes his journey without looking back.

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