by J. Scott Brownlee

Something living was here.  Now it's ash. 
     It's nothing: epileptic shock of the visible field. 
I hate to say I don't believe—but in this place,
     I don't.  Looking up is an exercise
in faith's futility.  The stars aren't proof
     of anything.  What could ever reach them? 
They are fading like me—gone like me—
     disappearing the same way I am. 
I cannot tell you why, and I do not want to. 
     I refuse to do so on the basis of this excuse,
which I hold to: It was never starlight
     I fell in love with, but the emptiness
behind it—all that dark like the black
     diamondback I found curled at my feet,
petrified in an S signifying nothing—or, perhaps,
     everything.  It seemed left there by someone
or something—I still can't explain it—
     like me.  But not me.  But not me.