ships and stars

the horizon is strung together from ships lit like lanterns
swaying to the same night-rhythm as the stars
backandforth, backandforth
a lullaby, a cradle.

there are little faces peeping out from behind the windowpanes
sweaty palms on smudged glass,
sneaking out long after bedtime, whispering sea shanties like prayers;
they were born with “wanderlust” written in their hearts.

they want the waves beneath their feet
or the sky clutched in their palms;
they want the world to open up for them,
to split the horizon seam from seam

as they move and dance and dream cross-continental,
seas and skies apart,
as they look for home,
the one place they cannot find.

but there is one who skirts the window,
whose restless fingers and twitching heart
don’t swell for saltwater and motion.
there is one who cannot stay on the ground,

who instead spends his time climbing trees, scaling roofs,
spraining ankles and fighting gravity,
who spends his nights chasing the stars with wide eyes,
content not with lanterns that pepper the distance

but longing for bright lights that split the sky open,
lights that break hearts,
lights that have seen the beginning and end of everything,
the only ones who know the way home.