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comet
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after The Shooting Stars by Jean-Francois Millet, by Tree Riesener
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                      perhaps
            not fire and ice after all
             not a snowball head
        tail of dust and charged gas
      substance of primordial matter
          from 4.6 billion years ago
        maybe an apparition of orbit
  dark muscular traveler through space
         cradling your languid cold body
                  stretched out on his supine heat
                            dusty moonlit dress trailing
                                    two hundred million miles
                                            evading a pursuing star
                                  falling from the oort cloud
                           you gave in to his embrace
                     before you burned
                        now he protects you
                                           from the scylla
                                                   of gamma rays
                                                            and the
                                                   charybdis
                                            of black holes
                                   now you’re a bird
                          in his gilded cage
                 but you’ll never
        go home again
thousands of miles
       beyond the planets
                your only hope now
                         is eventual death
                                 from the bits and pieces
                        you leave behind
                every time
       you go
                 past
                           the sun

©2007, Tree Riesener



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Tree Riesener is Managing Editor of The Schuylkill Valley Journal, the author of Liminalog (The Inmates Run the Asylum Press, 2005), a chapbook of ghazals and sijo, and served with Peter Krok as InterBoard Poetry Competition judge in the summer and fall of 2006. “comet” is taken from her just-finished collection of poems about astronomical phenomena, the hubble cantos. Here’s a link to the painting that inspired it, “The Shooting Stars” by Jean-Francois Millet.
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Next page > “Rain Song,” by Ruth Y. Nott...
Concrete Poetry collection > table of contents

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