They seem together from where I stand: three stars, a row on a flat, black sky. My guide book tells me otherwise— they are light-years apart, deep, deeper, deepest into the dark. I marvel at the stars, how they burn like beacons on distant, unreachable shores, how the isolation doesn’t diminish the shine. I studied their names when I was a boy, stared at them from my bedroom window in a middle-class home that must have looked fine— station wagon in the garage, closets of ironed pants and shirts, the threesome eating dinner in a spotless kitchen. But there were light-years between our plates, cold space between our seats in the car. There was no guide for that constellation. So I learned distance. I drifted away.
Copyright 2005 by Brian Dean Powers
Published in the Spring/Summer 2017 edition of Word Fountain