Saturn’s moon Dione in slight color

from APOD 5 November 2012 — Image Credit: NASA, JPL, SSI, ESA; Post Processing: Marc Canale


Saturn’s moon Dione in slight color

Dione hangs over Saturn, craters leading.
Isn’t the face always the most battered
part of the body? This is what happens
when two things are locked together:
the dark forever in front of us,
an infinity of nothing
we can predict.

This morning you said you were sad,
and I grew sad.
It wasn’t raining,
but the sun felt like grief—
her bright, cool rays too much for me. Yesterday
you said you were tired and we slept
too soon, using the long hours
before moonset trying to dream.
Sometimes stars shoot down to Earth
on nights like that, but it’s hard to see
diamonds stuck in the side of 2 am.

Last week you said you wished we could move north,
where the sky is larger than the ground
and I thought of how we would live there:
burnt twigs for warmth, hands cupped
around water as best we could,
scuffing our marks on the planet
as winter moves in.

Dione is stuck with Saturn
though I doubt she knows how long it’s been.
We’ve had decades together, finding each
other’s socks on the wrong side
of the bed. Children coming and going.
We hurtle toward death as though we planned it
that way, though we never thought
we’d still be here, orbiting
each other, never alone.

Only slightly surprised.


© 2012 Christine Klocek-Lim


I wrote this poem in November, when things seemed terribly stressful. Of course, the stress didn’t last. Like fog drifting into nothing between the trees, it disappeared, and new difficulty replaced it, along with joy and discovery, and the sheer implacability of life walking on…

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