The longest night of all, we lay
On the warm sand beside the sea,
Orion glittered overhead,
We counted all the Pleiades.

A ghost crab brushed against my hair,
The palm trees hissed in the warm wind.
We sighed and moved apart. You said
How near the planets were, how far
The last, receding, coldest star.

Then the floor tilted under me.
I stood against a wall of sand
As in the doorway of the world.
Around me streamed the gulfs of space.
From star to star the light-years poured.

So loosely held in earth's embrace
I shivered: centrifuge or grace,
What casual tug of her huge hand
Saves us from floating through that door.