Astropoetica: Mapping the Stars through Poetry

Existential Emerald, Ode to a Green Star

The sun at solar maximum

Credit: SOHO (ESA & NASA)

Shaking reality off our shoulders, we jump, as if by magic.
Etoile… t'adore.
But apparently green stars do not exist—reds blues yellows…ultra-violets…//
you'd need a light curve at just the sweet spot
on the spectrum. If you get hotter, just blues….
& if you glisten like our Sun
(whose touching green is close)
the whole wad of light washes into white.
So to the philosopher
who says the emerald prinks
we answer, knowingly, no:
Plato does not add to this confusion.
We stiffen at the telescope, hoping, yearning.
Oh, green star of imaginary mind!
How generous you shine, sparking dense peridot
and beryl in the night—
you are the Jungle Star, leafing twinkle-twinkle wishes.
Little star, how I wonder
where you are: swimming verdantly by Cassiopeia
or studding like a gemstone on Orion's black alligator belt?
Do you map your way to the sky-land above Oz?
(Governing all Seattle?)…
In the density of swirling dead gases
we guess the harmonic frequency of your camouflage,
know that we can create you
at will,
in a universe where (with a gazillion do-overs)
anything glistens—is, in a word, possible.

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Kallima Hamilton is the author of Outside the Lava Fields. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner and Shenandoah.