Our Star

“It’s from the Daily Galaxy”
– Susan Mikula

I tell Susan about walking around the Templo Mayor,
the pyramid in the middle of Mexico City. The gutter
for the sewer pipe they dug, a straight shot through
the ruins, 1905. How they must have been so over
all of it, the skull-shaped stones just another thing
to roll your eyes at, chuck out of your weary way.
Toss the fucking stone skulls on the rubble heap
with the feathered mantles, jaguar bones, python
skins, real skulls. I describe all this for Susan while
we wait in the waiting room for her dog, beloved Poppy,
who’s stashed somewhere getting chemo, and we talk
about how time works. Out the window the Roosevelt
Island tram slips back and forth along its wire.
Susan tells me when they tried to dig a parking garage
below LACMA, they unearthed a woolly mammoth stuck
in the tar pits, where the earth bubbles up to the top,
she says, so over all of that. She loves woolly mammoths
like she loves the Weimar Republic, googles “ice baby”
to find the third result, after Vanilla Ice, some ice
cream truck: a baby woolly mammoth left behind
for us to find and look at on her phone between
Stickleton Soup recipes and them giving us back
our damn dog. We read from the Daily Galaxy
on coronal holes, which spew streams of high speed
solar wind. Oh, our star! We make a note to look up
the Carrington event, learn someday how solar winds
can corrode pipes, disrupt even Susan’s Candy Crush.

Jill McDonough

Jill McDonough

Jill McDonough is the author of Habeas Corpus (Salt, 2008), Oh, James! (Seven Kitchens, 2012), Where You Live (Salt, 2012), and Reaper (Alice James, 2017). The recipient of three Pushcart prizes and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and Stanford’s Stegner program, she taught incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program for thirteen years.Her work has appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Nation, The Threepenny Review, and Best American Poetry.She teaches in the MFA program at UMass-Boston. Her fifth poetry collection, Here All Night, is forthcoming from Alice James Books.
Jill McDonough

Latest posts by Jill McDonough (see all)

Author: Jill McDonough

Jill McDonough is the author of Habeas Corpus (Salt, 2008), Oh, James! (Seven Kitchens, 2012), Where You Live (Salt, 2012), and Reaper (Alice James, 2017). The recipient of three Pushcart prizes and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and Stanford’s Stegner program, she taught incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program for thirteen years. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Nation, The Threepenny Review, and Best American Poetry. She teaches in the MFA program at UMass-Boston. Her fifth poetry collection, Here All Night, is forthcoming from Alice James Books.