I laugh at the errors of the stars,
Dazzled by the impossible dance of cars
And headlights. They didn’t foresee our streets,
Our cities. They only circle and repeat
Their timeless dance and are held out too far
Away. They don’t remember how men are—
How they breathe, sleep, forget, love, how they eat
What they shouldn’t. How they scatter and meet
To ponder the errors of the stars.
Of course, their mistakes are different from ours,
With deeper punishments, strange rewards.
They vanish into the hollow lands of grief
While we make up games and find relief
Laughing at the errors of the stars.
Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. It has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and The Best of the Net. He is the author of two full-length collections, Lent 1999 (Leaf Garden Press) and Soren Kierkegaard Witnesses an Execution (Local Gems) as well as two chapbooks, Three Visitors (Negative Capability Press) and Artifacts and Relics, (Folded Word). His novel, Knight Prisoner, is available from Vagabondage Press and a new novel is forthcoming: The Magic War (Loose Leaves Publishing). He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and activist Joan Juster where he makes a living showing people pretty things in his city.