Night of No Stars

Photo by Greta Unetich

By Greta Unetich

This day of the second summer knows that I adore you. The sun is clear on your face; warm, but not yet hot enough to be sticky.

That night, I dreamed of you sleeping flat on me.

In the middle of the forest, I stare right into the bottomless, brown eyes of the second summer.

My breath is gone.

Where are you to bury your face in the back of my head?

You have the sweetest


Sometimes, looking at you feels like looking at a night of no stars.

I ask you,

Can you see the tiny gold lights across the lake,

Each one a memory?

That night, I sleep flat on you.

I want you here, even when the nights are humid,

Even when it is so hot the surface of everything sweats and nothing sticks,

When the skin of vegetables left out, glass bottles, and refrigerator doors are humid.

I wish to be so close to you that we swap scents.

I need you to sit here and talk to me for hours.

Far up above my head, cecropia moths sit on the forest floor.

From the top of a hill nearby, I see you through a window, through a doorframe, through your eyes.

I hear you say hello for the first time.

My heart is sick for you.

It is a miracle I am looking at you right now.

Pretty face, pretty eyes with no stars.

Another thunderstorm in Ithaca:

The light changes so fast on your face. When the fire goes out, I watch the rain drip down from the gutters above your porch, late into the night that has no stars.

You are beautiful in the way that the stars make the night dark, in the way that skin makes running blood red.

The slow-falling rain, the absence of the stars above, the flames lighting up your face makes me feel primordial, feral, ill. I can see the lights of the other apartments through the dark; they look too far away to touch: golden memories on faraway hills, faraway islands.

In front of your garage door, I run to you.

Hugging you,


Fever dream,

Sparkling in my eyes.

The night’s thick, dark curtains close

At the end of the driveway.

You, a still body of water, a night sky.

The sky; do you think it’ll

Do it again?

Seven strikes of lightning at once,

All of us below it,

All of us looking up at the same time.

Black hole of a night,

Night of no stars, rain in the

Still center of space.

Inside, it is dark and loud.

My head is thick with thoughts of you.

My life cannot end without having touched you,

Without having slept next to you, your hair under my head,

Without having held your face in my hands,

Without having seen you in the morning,

Without having your hair between my fingers,

Without having smelled like you.

Right now, you are becoming one of the little gold lights of my memory. It is sweet, and it hurts.

I do not have the courage to lose your love—

The second summer gives once

And takes twice.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s