Stargazing On Rooftops

for Desiree Bucko

We spent the nights of that summer stargazing on rooftops,
watching as though our memories were on display
—pointing to every could’ve, would’ve, and should’ve,
pretending they were so far away that they couldn’t affect us anymore.

You would tell me there was a darkness inside of you,
how some days you didn’t know what to do
with yourself, so you would just lay there
with that black burning in your breast.

I would tell you the only reason anything burns
is because something wants to shine
—how the sun gets its light from the same energy that beats a heart,
so somewhere inside was a star waiting to give guidance.

When you asked how I could be so sure
I told you what guided me
when I needed guiding the most
was you;

How there was a time when the world’s weight
made it impossible to lift my head,
passing the days by counting each step
as I tripped over everything I walked into.

Finally I bumped into you,
a presence so bright it lifted gravity,
and you told me that my eyes should never look down
for it was the only way to see the potholes in the miles ahead.

We would end up watching many memories that summer,
never pretending how much it hurt to do so
but found comfort in knowing
we didn’t always have to look alone.