GAZING TOWARD CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD’S FORMER PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT
After turning back the clock
I rise at five because my body says it’s six.
waits at the door and I follow her outside, feel the dark
enter me. Black brew filling a tankard.
I keep hearing we’re made of star dust. Instead
maybe we are dark matter, that mysterious force
people keep searching for.
Where I live the stars are lavish on a clear night
but it’s the chilly emptiness that flows
in and out of me
as I breathe. Heart, lungs, blood—
nothing inside me has ever seen light,
all parts tick blind inside their skin casing.
Behind me, coiled springs of dried wisteria pods
explode like grenades, seeds spray like autumn buckshot,
Doppler past my ears.
I once stood in a tomb along the Nile, gazing up
at a painting of Nut, ancient goddess stretched across the sky,
her body full of stars—
she kept hidden from her sun-god husband. Imagine
having a belly of light, a mind of phosphor.
It’s mating season for the great horned owls.
Three or four of them call from the pines,
burr the night with black velvet.
Somewhere deep below the mountains, the sun swims
toward the surface, dragging the so-called scales
of Libra on its long line.
For now, Virgo touches the horizon—naked, winged,
brandishing a palm frond, the planet Mars lodged
in her left hip socket.
From the dark hills in the foreground, one too-bright light
shines gamely from an empty parking lot.
As if a light could keep anyone safe,
I tell myself. But I keep standing there, listening for the dog
scruffling in the dark, waiting for a touch
of vermillion to lip the sky.
published in Menacing Hedge, Volume 10.02, Fall 2020