Here at the spoke-ends of our galaxy
It is easy to forget the central axle
Moving insensibly slow, still
The silvery-white dispersion of stars
Soothes randomly until we impose a pattern,
Like the Magi, like the Greeks.
And despite the most accurate of calendars,
Dawn remains a wager until the great lion of the sun
Peers over the plains with a growl of heat
And the day blooms and withers toward the violet hour
Where even wise men arrive as strangers
Because the arrangement is never the same.
As the latest layer of bones,
Can we ever appreciate how far
The swan’s neck stretched to uphold the head,
The spider’s strand thinned without snapping?
Do we recall the dark alternatives dodged,
Any of which could unmake us?
Always there were detours
Where the river never creased the rock
That never rose from the sea
That never spawned a single fossil.
When light illuminates the Grand Canyon
In winter’s slant at sundown,
The stripes of ages burn
With every visible color.
What is the color of a radio wave?
Only a man asks that.