To be awake in the early hours of the morning is to see clouds in backdrops of purple darkness.
Clouds lose the gray that defines them,
Clouds the burnt orange hue of dying streetlights,
Where the glass is cracked and the paint is peeling,
Where front doors light up one by one awaiting the morning sun,
It is,
It is,
To hear the motors of air conditioners click on and off,
To hear the creaks and cracks of brick face houses,
plastic siding settling in,
It is,
To be awake in the witching hours of the night,
To hear dogs cry,
To hear wild shouts bleeding one into the other,
To hear them wake, each to each, in manicured backyards, coals turning to ash beneath greasy grills, ac’s set low,
Ceiling fans whir quick and loud,
Drown them out,
It is to,
on occasion,
sit underneath a starless sky where the only lights that sparkle and shine reflect through faded glass
Black shadow palm trees frame the slow drifting clouds,
shadows lost in the night,
searching for sunlight.
Fronds reaching out to what they could never hold,
Here and there,
through the orange clouds and purple sky,
on occasion,
on occasion, might appear true stars, overshadowed and forgotten,
denied this view of earth.
There is no moon to guide them,
We sing to cloudy skies and streetlights,
They sit static and although they can see the universe, although they can see my planet,
Mi tierra,
They cannot see me.
I wonder at what they feel,
I wonder,
I wonder
If in the glimpses through rolling clouds they see me looking at them.
If maybe for a moment, I shined brighter than the streetlight.
If maybe, in looking up, these stars belong to just me, or someone else too.
I fix on a point, call it my own,
I wonder as it blinks so far from the moon,
While it sings its song,
flutters through and through,
skips and starts,
Tries to keep its tune,
I wonder If it’s ever seen itself,
Naked as it stands here tonight,
Outshined by the streetlight,
Like it always stood,
I wonder,
And still,
It sings its song,
And I sing to it, when I see it, when I don’t,
I sing my song, in starts and stops, through patches of lamplight clouds,
Through the whir of machines,
through all those lost dreams,
I see it blink, just once, then once more.
Is it a song for me,
or was it a song,
for those long gone.
A song to the universe,
A song for those that will never know its name,
The clouds drift and flow
they disappear in patches that come and go,
I find my star no more
I sang my song in its last light
I wonder,
I wonder if I did it right
What a wonder,
What a fright,
To behold that star
On this cold night.
Robert Hinojosa moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 2001. Prior to moving to the Valley he had spent his youth on various US Air Force military bases where his father served as a military law enforcement officer. Robert was born in Landstuhl, Germany where he made the first of many friends from different cultures. Robert had never considered a hometown until he moved to the Valley and now calls it home. Robert is currently an English major at UTRGV.

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