A Star-Spangled Lantern

The gift of a gold-painted lantern wrapped in foil,
‘Oasis Living,’with star holes in the gold,
Reminded us of the oasis we live on,
A mere fleck of which is fresh water, friable soil.

Where to put it? Here, above the courtyard  table?
Its light scatters a glistening rain
Over the guacamole, the oat crackers,
The sushi, ravioli, the caviar, the champagne.

In the evening breeze’s  rising heat on its little hook,
It swings above our oasis’ homely homeostasis.
We now have speckled faces ,dimple dot.s. Look!
And now galaxies spin across our faces.

Around us everything we know is darkening.
It’s just us, under the lantern’s flicker,
The slick shower of  pretty glitter.
Lazy summer night. Nothing could be fitter.

Just us. No one comes here from afar
With weary thirsty animals, and whips –
Creaking buckles, bound bundles on sore backs –
Or in inexplicable ships.

Look! The flecked food is nearly gone. Where?
So many mottled measle’d mouths.
The lantern fades to shades of black
Someone slurs, ’S’faulty. Take it back.’

But  it’s just the battery. Flat.
We weren’t prepared for that.


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