Space Junk

…….As if to remind us orbit rhymes with obit,
they chime colliding in low-Earth thermosphere
(chime, that is, if anyone here could hear),
…….this swarm of Kevlar and gold-foiled silicate bits,

…….regardless of how or why they’ve been hurtled so far
from us, their makers, in whose febrile-fibered image
they mangle thin, almost immune to age.
…….Regardless, too, of whether there’s any there out there

…….in the dark they keep insisting does have limits,
abandoned, orphaned, multiplying, like us,
once they find each other, but by smashing to a fine dust,
…….a cloud of cold, unblinking satellites.

…….Unlike us, though, they stay sharp, stay afloat,
circling the same trajectory yet lost in a cyclical ring—
not a zero but a bellowed O murmuring,
…….a mouth droning hosannas loud and flat—

…….each fragment pulsing in a neurogenic shudder,
flecks of shuttle-tile flickering like herring scales
accruing in thick-settled trash-fish schools,
…….disembodied body-flap and split-rudder.

…….They were never born so can’t be born again. Still,
they whorl cherubic in a rapture of scrap iron and
spare parts, awaiting whatever inscrutable command
…….issues from Mission Control in the smug high-style

…….of alpha this, omega that. Miltonic bees poured forth
to cluster in halo vortices around our little blue hive,
they dive as if stirred by a single viscous heave,
…….sediment pulp and pap of celestial broth.

…….If pointed out one night in place of astral planes
to kids squinting through a compound scope, let’s say,
let their Dad tweak the dials (“See? Now do you see?”)
…….and herd them in a scrum around the lens.

…….Let the kids forsake the stars for this swirling spray
slicing the sky with swift sift and false fire,
no longer wanting what they were looking for
…….as one kid glimpses, bowing as if to pray,

…….two GEOs locking antennae beside Orion,
circulating, bright as dimes, flaring to life
where they clamor and snick in solar wind as if
…….plotting to populate some other modest stone.

Brian Brodeur

Brian Brodeur

Brian Brodeur is the author most recently of Every Hour Is Late (Measure Press 2019). New poems and essays are forthcoming in Hopkins Review, Southern Review, and The Writer’s Chronicle. Founder and Coordinator of the digital interview archive “How a Poem Happens,” Brian lives with his wife and daughter in the Whitewater River Valley. He teaches creative writing and American literature at Indiana University East.
Brian Brodeur

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Author: Brian Brodeur

Brian Brodeur is the author most recently of Every Hour Is Late (Measure Press 2019). New poems and essays are forthcoming in Hopkins Review, Southern Review, and The Writer’s Chronicle. Founder and Coordinator of the digital interview archive “How a Poem Happens,” Brian lives with his wife and daughter in the Whitewater River Valley. He teaches creative writing and American literature at Indiana University East.