Maintaining the celestial
reference frame's a bitch:
tugging the x-ray sources
back in line, wafting clouds
of hydrogen to set roots down
and deepen where they will implode
into another stellar nursery.
The tough love approach to gravity
only goes so far and then
it's elbow grease, sweat falling
in too many drops to count,
sun-burnt neck and backache
as I straighten up, survey the field,
the scent of green tomatoes lingering.

Copyright © 2008, Mary Alexandra Agner

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/S.Wolk et al;
Optical: NSF/AURA/WIYN/Univ. of Alaska/T.A.Rector)

Mary Alexandra Agner writes of dead women, telescopes, and secrets. She makes her home outside Boston. She can be found online at