Tonight, the chhau dancer has a moon on his back,
and he clasps each of its crescent wingtips
above his head like an angel holding its horns.
When I said that I have looked for you in the bodies
of others, this is what I meant: these martial stances,
these masks, the way his shoulderblades convulse
in tandem with a shuddering drum, the way he raises
a foot to the level of the eye. Some of us are forged
salamandrine, enduring the universe with no more
than the will to be reborn. Others must wear falconry
hoods, and sometimes, when even I can no longer bear
to see, I think of you, once, your head in your hands
in a gesture of mourning, that night at the beginning of
the year of broken idols when a beautiful costumed
man ripped his chest open and showed you that secret
theatre, that solitaire, the hooked bijou of my heart.
Since then, the cosmos has been without choreography.
The seraph on stage unsheathes his trident. I wrap myself
in a serape of sadness and wonder how many dancers I
have watched on how many nights since; how many
I have torn my gaze from to beseech the sky,
as though the night numbered among
its many stars the zodiac of your eyes.