We took a walk downtown and watched the cars
speed by like comets in the dusk: their tails
were streaks of grey exhaust, the powdered stars
of headlights in the night – bright milky trails.

You stared hard as they passed – said you could mark
your favorite constellations in the glare,
and, squinting through the incandescent dark,
you pointed out the hulking Ursa pair;

bold Perseus, with foul Medusa's head;
Orion's belt, and Pegasus in rear;
fierce Leo, and Aquila, wings outspread –
all fading into flux as they grew near.

Then, gazing up, you ventured to complain
that city streets make galaxies look plain.