Atomizing the Dark

by Mary Alexandra Agner

The saccharine of spring midnight opens my lungs
like dynamite dividing dark grain granite
from itself, eggshell exploding in one breath
through a pinhole, ribs cracked out like vaulted
architectural struts. The starlit chill walks in.

Invaded, the coppery chink of crab apple blossoms
rings out like New Year's bells. The armor of constellations
wades ashore in melanin, tornadoes of light condensing
to pinpricks. They plunge in through skin, the welter
of vessels, gondolas sweeping the paths of life.

Contralto vowels spill out through my ears,
cicadas and Scorpio, red-hearted and thrumming.
My own last mist falls away, moonlight-magicked to soap
bubble stories clouding the sky, as Cassiopeia
unfolds my body, stands down from her throne.

Copyright © 2004, Mary Alexandra Agner
Giant Twisters in the Lagoon Nebula

Giant Twisters in the Lagoon Nebula

Mary Alexandra Agner's poetry will appear in North American Review, Passages North, Puerto del Sol, and Salt. She's currently winding down an SF novelette-in-verse and warily stalking her first lyric poetry manuscript. She has spent her life observing the universe and writing about it.

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Image courtesy of NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)