11.3.07

The Transit of Venus

Venus slips behind the steeple, looking silvery as a lost love. Bigger than yesterday. A downward trajectory. It takes minutes. I don't understand the universe. Last year it was Saturn, yellowy and insouciant, ringed with desire. The year before that, Jupiter, reddish, baleful, gargantuan, whirling fate into strange corridors of time. How do several bodies take up the same space of sky? It isn't the universe I don't understand, just the solar system. Or my mind. Why do these signs seem sometimes so hopeful then at others deliver a doom I cannot help but bend my neck to receive? Being a protestant means your conscience will never be assuaged, never quieted, never quiet; yet you'll always find a way, this side of the grave, to say that what you did wasn't really wrong, only misunderstood. I have no use for a god who misunderstands, do you? Does anyone? Have a use for god. Point. Shriek. Query ... Venus has gone, she's slipped behind the spire, leaving a ghost of silvery longing. I'll turn my head away, I'll bare my neck some other time. All the hairs standing up there. The nightsweet swirls in the night, the planet sets. Somewhere between my age and death, she said, and laughed. I won't see her again.

1 comment:

chiefbiscuit said...

This is one of the loveliest prose poems I've read for some time. (Well, to me it's a prose poem.) And yes, just what does one do about the crick one gets in one's neck when star gazing? Maybe stars are meant to be gazed at from a prone position.