Why I Stay Up Late in August

Marri Champié

Why I Stay Up Late in August

We imagine each year the Perseids come to us,
so we lie on the lawn and gaze upward,
wrapped in a quilt, to the delight of the dogs
who believe we’ve come there just to be with them.
and listen to the drone of mosquitoes over the water.

We imagine the arc lights of meteors as stars falling
as we strip off our clothes and carefully step from rock to rock
along the inky river. We slide into a mountain hot springs
feeling timeless until the surge of freezing river
reminds us we’re still very much human.

We imagine that somewhere in the dark expanse
there’s the answer to it “all” and perhaps, if we watch,
it’ll be written in a silent string of light across the night
and we’ll go back inside to be warmer, and wiser,
having seen the annual truth that came to us from somewhere.

But it is I who must make the journey,
riding sempiternal, travelling the distance
each year, each lifetime, back to the same mystery
I had already worshipped in awe and wonder once again
what it is and if it was worth the trip.

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Marri Champié has an MA in Writing, with minors in photography and Earth Science, and a graduate certificate in Technical Communication. She won three Dell Awards for Fantasy/Science Fiction, and is a published poet and novelist, photographer and journalist. Winner of the 2013 Boise State University President’s Writing Award in fiction and poetry, she is presently working on a series of contemporary stories about women who live in rural, Idaho. Her work has appeared in ROAR Magazine, Cicada, Tales of the Concrete Highway, Handful of Dust, The Writer’s Monthly Review, and others. One Coyote Winter, a poetry chapbook, was published in 2014. She works as a journalist for Idaho Life Magazines and lives on a small ranch overlooking the Great Basin of Idaho with her horses and Jack Russell terriers. Website: WriteIdahoWriter.com

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