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On the Other Side of the Stars

I looked for one stitch 
of sorry—one white regret. 
In that blue field I searched 
for a little beauty,
some lovely disorder.

On one side the stars lined up 
in staggered, orderly rows 
like inmates in a blue yard, 
like kills tallied on a tailfin.

I turned it over, but one side 
was just like the other: 
none of the doubt or wonder 
that comes when you lie down
at night in an open field, 
and stare up into the sky—
mostly dark, spangled with stars.

                                            —Matthew Murrey

Matthew Murrey’s poems have appeared in many journals such as Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, and Under a Warm Green Linden. He received an NEA Fellowship in Poetry a number of years ago, and his debut poetry collection, Bulletproof, selected by Marilyn Nelson, was published in February 2019 by Jacar Press. Murrey is a high school librarian in Urbana, Illinois where he lives with his partner. They have two adult sons. Find him at https://www.matthewmurrey.net/.