Issue 216, Spring 2016
is a bowl of stars,
not the sunset’s wussy Pink Lady
hours ago, before a solitary dinner—
leftover meat loaf and veg, Jell-O, and decaf—
I wash up from, then doze through episodes
of endangered plotlines and the News at Ten,
then finally lurch to the cabinet, pour myself
a rum, and walk out with my laptop into eternity—
for me, the view from an avocado-
colored polycarbonate po-mo armchair
on the terrace in my oddly rounded apartment
complex, a semicircle of dark balconies,
the building’s fountain nattering on,
the neighbors asleep, the palms content,
planes blinking overhead on their way
to Miami or Hell, whichever is closest.
Better than any telescope, my Night Sky app
situates me in an immensity that, like my heart,
shifts slightly but regularly as it orbits the end.
Aldebaran, looking over my shoulder,
holds up a crescent moon for approval.
Orion is out on patrol, Cassiopeia on edge.
The screen as well maps what is under the horizon,
what I am sitting on—though am I under or over?
I am sitting on the sun, of course,
also the smaller planets and several signs
made into horoscopes the newspapers cast
for people who believe the stars have known
all along more than we do about our lives.
But what does a star know—or a lion or a crab?
Surely no more than the gazer now skipping a beat
in my chest can tell about tomorrow.