I am a blind person who lives in Saint Paul, MN with a lovely woman and a handsome dog. In the past I tried to teach English to adult humans and to computers, that is, I taught ESL and wrote language software. You can find links to my poems and essays at my blog, lippenheimer.wordpress.com.
A Kind of Incarnation
In my brother’s book were many pictures:
the ragged nebula with a black hole at its center
(what boy doesn’t love the glowing aftertaste
of violence?), the rings of Saturn, and on the cover
Jupiter: wheels within wheels of fractal paisley clouds
the lopsided disk of Ganymede or Io in the dark
margin and, most of all, the tiny shadow
the moon punched out of the giant’s brightness,
just like the real shadow of a real thing,
a popup to the shortstop or a crabapple under a streetlamp.
So big, so alien, yet almost-touchable
as a TV star glimpsed in the grocery store.
Those college summers in Hawaii, halfway up the volcano,
we’d set up the little telescope in the middle of the road
that nobody came down but a few badly lost tourists.
We’d look at craters on the moon, some with little spikes
in the center like astronomical thumbtacks, or Saturn
with bulges instead of rings, but whatever it was
it was moving, sailing stately but relentless out of
sight. It made me dizzy to think
how fast the sky was turning, how fast
the earth was turning and kept turning after we
put the telescope away and went inside.
Last year we stood outside in the spring chill
and I turned my face up to the now-blank sky.
John pointed out Orion’s belt, the big bent W of Cassiopeia,
and Ann said Subaru is what they call the Pleiades in Japan.
When the moon rose, some of us huddled together
and sang to it what words we could recall
of Elvis and R.E.M. and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
It’s what I have now, a story, a hand pointing with mine,
these humans joining me to other worlds.
© 2017 Roy White
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