~ after Remedios Varo, “Papilla Estelar (Star Slurry/Celestial Pablum),” 1958

My lonely office
is to climb the stairs

that stretch
from the domestic world

into a citadel among
the stars.

I have no child, I have
no parakeet and yet

am most maternal here:
one hand turns

the crank handle attached
to a grinding plate;

the other maneuvers
a long-handled spoon

to feed this thin gruel
of stars to the moon’s

pale crescent, shimmering
behind bars. We watch

each other carefully, each
movement lyric and precise:

should each one’s light
falter or dim— moon, woman,

sky— night’s silences
would ring the centuries.

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