I am out before dawn, marching a small dog through a meager
Boulevards angle away, newspapers fly around like blind white birds
Two days in a row I have not see the meteors
radio news says they are overhead
Leonid’s brimstones are barred by clouds; I cannot read
in heaven, I cannot see night rendered into fire
And yet I do believe a net of glitter is above me
not think I still knew these things;
I get on the train, I buy the food, I sweep, discuss,
consider gloves or boots, and
in the summer,
open windows, find beads to string with pearls
You would not think that I had survived
the life you see me living now
In the darkness, the dog stops and sniffs the air
She has been alone she has known
and so now she watched for it always
and I agree, with the conviction of my mistakes.
But in the second part of my
life, slowly, slowly,
I begin to council bravery. Slowly, slowly,
I begin to feel the planets
turning, and I am turning
toward the crackling shower of their sparks
These are the mysteries I could
not approach when I was younger:
the Boulevards, the meteors, the deep desires that split the sky
the paths of the cold park
I remember myself, the one who can wait out anything
So I caution the dog to go silently, to bear
the burden of knowing what spins on and on above our heads
For this is our reward: Come
Armageddon, come fire or flood,
come love, not love, millennia of portents—
there is a future in which the dog and I are
Born into it, the mystery, I know we will be saved
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-from The Mystery of Meteors
In the age of discovery, the Large Magellanic Cloud was already
to the naked eye.
It presided over tragic ocean voyages and massacres, the
libraries and temples, ritual burials and the uneven exchange of
his spyglass, Magellan himself thought it had a
though his was just a feeling. Later, scientists were able to tell us
that the problem with the Large
Magellanic Cloud is the Tarantula
Measurements indicate that
this nebula is actually the core of the
Large Magellanic Cloud even though it appears to be off-center
rest of the galaxy. Ah. Always off-kilter,
its own heart,
Magellanic Cloud hugs the horizon but lurks around all
Sometimes the Large Magellanic Cloud experiences
more often that not
it knows nothing but trouble. It is pierced by comets. It is
in a transition
state and grows bigger and more unwieldy every day.
But there is hope! The Large Magellanic Cloud has a companion,
a little twin called the Small Magellanic Cloud.
On photographic plates, it sometimes appears blurry but believe me,
it is there.
It may be hard to see, but it has a kind and spiritual nature.
The Russians have been studying
it since the Revolution.
Nixon thought about it a lot, so do people who believe that
their airplane is about to crash.
Who else thinks about the Small Magellanic Cloud?
People who have problems in
their love life and their work
(I, for instance, have had it in my mind for years).
The Small Magellanic Cloud knows about our
and it sympathizes.
for us sometimes, so we can sleep. But the
Small Magellanic Cloud, whose inner heart is perfectly
after the Large Magellanic Cloud and picks up the pieces.
Loving us, loving us, loving us, the Small Magellanic Cloud.
astronomers because it seems to have no purpose.
But we know better. We whisper its name to our children so they
may be comforted.
We tell them that every day, stars are born in the Small
and then spin of into the universe, remembering us, wishing us well.
Post Soviet History Unfolds