There is no room
in my heart for moonlight
over Mount Juneau
or Mount Jumbo
no room for the counting
of stars or constellations,
of the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters
this open cluster a composer
of middle-aged stars
large incandescent celestial bodies
with luminous points
no room for the Big Dipper
its ladle of glistening gems
shackled ‘round my ankles.
Grounding me to this town,
to this street void of lampposts
to this shuttered aorta of a house.
A gray shroud repeats
in cloud-form, fog-like gowns
flapping in the gale
of the Taku Winds whipping
down South Franklin Street.
Tomorrow is the uninvited guest
of my best friend’s death knocking
in remembrance at my shuttered windows.
Grief beckons its left hand to me
a flashing light on a buoy at sea
I am choking on the echoing sounds
of sorrow. My breath in my ears
pounds the shore where that buoy
bobs under again and again
sparring in rhythm with the ebb
and flow of the tides
punched aloft by the light
rising ascendant like shooting stars in this purple-black night sky.
• Alexis Ross Miller is born and bred Alaska. She was born in Fairbanks and moved to Juneau at 3. She has lived and worked in Ketchikan, Sitka, Petersburg, Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow).
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