The crowds disperse.
The sea roars,
the boats on the horizon impersonate stars.
One of them wears a shade too red and blinks too fast
as if it wants to be Sirius.
More constellations shine behind you,
little bulbs of white light
gleaming from carts selling corn and fried fish and tea and sandwiches
and behind them rests another galaxy
of equidistant lights
hemming this beach in as if to say
‘This side – you, ocean,
behind us – the mass of humanity’
You lie on your back,
and look for other constellations – the ones in the sky this time.
You watch Orion drift up from the horizon.
You find the real Sirius,
and then trace the Zodiac
with the bits that your eyes can find
– it’s the urban light pollution
or you getting older,
or most likely it’s a mix of both.
But you locate a star in the horns of Taurus,
(Wait, is it the nose?)
and a couple of bright dots that make up the belly of the bull
and while you wait,
your eyes adapt to the blankness,
you see more stars.
Taurus has a head more angular than you thought.
You get better
and spot a bit of Gemini.
You realise how you’ve gotten better at this,
spotting more stars as it gets darker,
just like a gawky pre-adult learning to make more friends.
And you tell yourself you can spot Leo too,
because SkyMap says it’s there.