Midnight at the planetarium
Is that Jupiter out there smiling down on us?
Knowing we’ll be here for a few scant years
at best. A saintly old man in a cardigan
passes by, smelling of whiskey and pipe
tobacco and you whisper he looks like
Einstein—with that head of hair – and then Venus
comes into play, and tiny whispers
circulate thru the Milky Way,
so, you touch my arm, and I can smell
sweet Sagittarius in your hair, and a touch
of the Aurora Borealis is reflecting from your
rosy cheeks. We are all travelers says Einstein,
and he takes off his spectacles and tells us
Tolstoy was a Virgo, and we consult the sky map.
You are radiant and I am consumed in stodgy details:
Show me the rings of Saturn if you dare, I say.
But you name the moons
of Jupiter instead: Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto.
I’m still computing distance; your breath
is like the first sip of summer wine
and we sit on a precipice high
over the New Mexico mountains and we say to each other
that one day I will be going north,
and you will be going south.
We ignore the clock and turn our
attention to the rim of the galaxy and deep
deep space and the chasm between us.