There’s a pencil scratch across the sky,
a jagged mark from a passing plane,
and a placid river where I like to think

of the flecks that decorate each eye
dancing inside your miraculous head.
There’s a pencil scratch across the sky

that is broken now by the passing time,
fading like some departing soul’s final
words, a series of dots in invisible ink.

I release my breath with a raspy sigh,
mull the canvas stretched over my head,
there’s not a pencil scratch across the sky

it seems the drawing has been left to me—
the chance to fashion that which moves
us to the placid river where we both sink

into the sandy loam along the shore, watch
the beacons from the passing planes, bare
bodies and essence to the star-pocked sky,
whisper naked prayers as satellites blink.

D. E. Kern is an author and educator from Bethlehem, Pa. He worked in newspapers for fifteen years before shifting to Creative Writing in graduate school. His writing has appeared in Appalachian Review, Big Muddy, CRATE, The Examined Life, Mission at Tenth, Rio Grande Review and The Owen Wister Review among others. He teaches English at Arizona Western College where he also directs the Honors Program. When he is not teaching or writing, he enjoys fishing and traveling with his lovely wife, Neesha.