for Ann Moore
My friend and I walk through the night. Winter is coming back. The night sky is clear, no clouds. The night will grow colder. We sip coffee. She knows the stars. I’ve been stuck on the Pleiades. That name. A constellation I knew as a boy. A picture on a page. A story. Seven divine sisters. The Pleiades, I say, to hear the sound and give it life. She points. There, she says. I count aloud one, two, three, four, five and six. The seventh is beyond our ability to see unaided. We walk under Orion. Taurus The Bull steaming at the snout. I ask, how far away is the seventh Pleiade. She says a number beyond my imagination. The night becomes colder. I was once told that each star is someone in heaven. A pinprick in God’s dome. She asks if I’m looking for my father. No, I say. He’s farther than the seventh Pleiade. The farthest star in the cold night’s sky. We hurry. The coffee is always getting cold.