For the third time in my life
I got in a cold car,
and drove away from the lights
of town—twice for the Perseids,
and this time for the Leonids.
Each time I’d gone hoping
for something spectacular.
The first two were nothing
but a slow wheeling sky of stars—
this time, three faint streaks of light
in the half hour I lay on the hood of the car
trying to keep my neck loose,
trying to keep my backside warm.
It wasn’t fireworks, or even fireflies.
It was just the beginning of dawn:
soft fade of light seeping up,
a fat, yellowed moon settling down,
and three shooting stars for luck.
Nothing to come home talking about,
nothing to remember on my deathbed—
unless dying turns out to be like lying
on the hood of a car in the cold,
staring up into the dark, hoping
for a dazzle of shooting stars.