Chris Dombrowski

Before Dawn

Amber beads, the spiders bastion

their cottony egg. Six at first, seven,

then myriad others reveal themselves as stars do

the longer a watcher is willing to stare.

These are the first days of spring, days like

wind fierce, then mute as a snowy roof, a man

who touches a cigarette to the burner’s coiled blush

and leans back into the first drag

while Parker’s saxophone opens “Billie’s Bounce”

six consecutive times, giving the man the notion

each time the tune is cut and begun again that life

has stopped, rewound itself, and started again

without his noticing: the foil of how he feels

watching the constellations which seem so stationary

until he looks down, walks around the block,

and looking up again sees they’ve tracked miles of sky

in moments: sky that falls off the mountain now

like her robe to the floor — cut of tape,

plank of sky bridging star to star, iron

the stove’s blush slips back into —

onto which he steps, already spinning.