367943 Duende by Stuart Greenhouse

In 2013 over
                   Chelyabinsk
bright enough the whole world saw
repeatedly on Youtube

a shooting star bloomed
                                     boomed
                   shorted                                           dashcams
                                                        blew
                            out a city of
                                       factory
            windows
                            stands of trees
                   m  a  t  ch  sti  c  k  ed
                                stood down
                            the sun               for shining:
                                                                           a catastrophic
                                                                                                               superbolide

                                         rarer than centuries:                 what
did it mean?
                            16 hours
earlier 367943 Duende type M dark asteroid
                              grazing
            the Moon
                             seeding some earthward
                                                            ejecta had
passed unnoticed
         by all of NASA’s detectors                   all NEO radar
but not by the sensitives
                   the insomniacs       the touched the
                                                                 out-there souls          
                            drinking
         their calming
teas                              growling
on the phone to us, their astrologers:
the inside thing is happening again tell me
what are these alien feelings what is twisting
me outward:
         :some as-yet-undiscovered
heavenly influence making a tongue
                                                     of
                                                     your
                                                     heart
we will find the connection:
                                     we sighed
                              unsure of
                   what it might mean

                                                    then
Chelyabinsk
                   flowered
                                     and we
                                               tracing the stem
                                                        of its trajectory
                                                                 back
through yesterday’s skies
found the dark influence,
                                               made
                                                        our star charts whole:
         slept well again             inside our own weathers,
knowing            that

nothing in heaven passes us by
without reaching a finger down

nothing in heaven can light us
without reason.


Stuart Greenhouse is the author of the poetry chapbook “What Remains.” Poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Abyss & Apex, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Barrow Street, Laurel Review, and North American Review.

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