Size / / /

I.

The last kiss behind
helmet visor, gleam of top-heavy head

leaning to bid goodbye before
mounting the engine

with wings and lurching
back into the heavens, racing

the sunset like a cycle
burning two tires in asphalt.

The farewell wave mirrored in rear-view
vistas swallowed by peripheral horizon.

The sensation of stomach in throat
from force or fear, unclear whether

cold galactic fingers will feel familiar
before hers curl around his another time.

 

II.

Stars crowd the foreground fluttering
past like cotton tufts suspended

in spring. If they too collect somewhere,
swelling in mass across the ground,

tickling the feet of passersby,
let it be her and I—

let the radiation of main sequence stars
warm our toes spread wide

in wooden sandals shuffling
the cold beaches of Titan.

 

III.

Orion is rude whispers
on arrival. Home littered with decay:
planets barren, stars bloated.
His belt sags, muscles spoiled
to the touch. He is a husk
of his former glory—
a dead dragonfly found
with no wings and one eye
half-eaten. He speaks
of combat with insects
but himself scuttles.
He's a decrepit warrior orbiting
far past success,
a victory ages old.
A myth.

If she can hear
Orion's voice rambling,
he'll tell her it's nothing
to worry over—he's still
the bright set of stars indicated
from the mountain peak
where they huddled 'til dawn.
(Where had the time gone?)
He's still the man he used to be.
Don't give up on him.

Publication of this poem was made possible by a donation from Ray Vukcevich. (Thanks, Ray!) To find out more about our funding model, or donate to the magazine, see the Support Us page.



Erik Goranson lives and writes in Greeley, Colorado. He once took a road trip to Iowa that was comparatively unexciting. Find out more about him at erikgoranson.com.
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15 Aug 2022

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