that night at the observatory
we looked down instead
found a latch to a room
where the projector and its timer
played the ghosts that stalk our woods
the speaker that whoops
its echo in the trees
that busloads come to see and hear
with gifts and totems and tufts of hair
the musty place so long abandoned
its makers lost in the myst.
I said, “It’s all a lie!
What a total scam!
We have to let people know!”
But you shot me that look —
Yes, that look was a gift that said,
“No, why would you? Leave it so.”
Wiped away grime at the skylight
to see them twirl and marvel
their lanterns like bobbing fireflies.
But no, I must have dreamed that.
Went back later and could not find the door.
In the dark, though, an image played on my face,
pilgrims said I seemed inspirited, they touched me.
So then I grasped your reticence.
You don’t remember, do you?
But, of course, it was a dream!
And you said, with a shrug,
as you turned down the path,
“In the end, what does it matter
if this pageant in the woods
is just some artist’s cartoon?
If the only gods we know
are simply handmade projections?
I mean, after all, if it serves?”