Erica Sofer Bodwell

Andromeda’s

 

nine billion years old

the Milky Way’s

thirteen

and the black ant

I crunched

under my bare toe

this morning

could have been a year or twenty

that ant

was just toiling

from sandy nest

to kitchen cupboard

but on this fateful

July day

happened to encounter

this cabin’s

sometime inhabitant

me

human and aging

and by the luck

of being born

in the land of the free

and a biped

with a frontal lobe

I’m still

counting on another

few thousand

nights

standing

in the dirt driveway

lifting

my head

heavenward, seeing

the Milky Way’s

faint glitter

reminded

of the age map

I found

years ago

flipping through

Encyclopedia Britannica

70,000 stars

color-coded

by years-since-birth

neon rainbow

fanning rightward

over glossy

and fingerprinted page.

Where

can our mortal fear

land—

poised as we are

between ant

consciousness

and spinning

galaxy?

 


 

Starry Messenger

 

Star-fueled

spacecraft

propelled

by steady diet

of photons,

fastest object

ever made

by humans,

Juno

spent two years

looping

through the Solar System

beyond dusty Mars

and our bright

blue planet

obscured

by clouds

formed from

kicked-off emissions

then

slingshotted

past us

with nary

a wave,

somersaulting

over

two billion miles

of Milky Way

before

pirouetting

above Jupiter’s

clouds,

ducking

under

bands of radiation

and entering

the giant planet’s

swirling

auroras, its haloes

of storming

magnetic

fire.

Today Juno

transmits images

of Jupiter’s moons—

Io with its

molten interior,

icy Europa,

Ganymede, magnetic

field, underground

ocean,

Callisto, ancient

and cratered—

Galileo’s

starry messengers

composed

like a symphony

of swirling

gases,

gases

from which

we came.

 


Erica Sofer Bodwell is an Israeli-American poet who lives in Concord, New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in White Stag, Entropy/Enclave, APIARY, The Fem, Coal Hill Review, PANK, HeART, Barnstorm, Hot Metal Bridge, The Tishman Review and other journals. Her chapbook, Up Liberty Street, was a finalist for the 2015 Coal Hill Review Chapbook Contest, the 2015 Blast Furnace Chapbook Contest and the 2015 Minerva Rising Chapbook Contest. She participated in the July 2016 Tupelo Press 30/30 Project.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: