While you drew near-perfect circles filled with thick asterisks,
I doodled boxes and lines, sketched a street, a neighborhood,
and racked randomly tiny t’s on sidewalks. When I asked
what the circles were, you said galaxies. Then you glanced
at my sheet. You thought I was plotting football plays,
and during the break asked my favorite team. The NY Jets
came to mind—large metal birds that rocket across the sky,
or the Jacuzzi blasting sore muscles. I didn’t lie.
I’ve flown over suburbs that look like cemeteries,
row upon row of squares, crucifixes strung together
by wire, patches of weed-free grass, and miniature mourners
disappearing behind doors while they wonder whose house they will
stay at tonight. You didn’t lie either. The sublime universe
stretches her sparkling limbs and she is dazzling—divine.
When our machines touch down on distant planets, when we mimic
black holes, when we trace her form onto scratch paper, she slows
her movements like a horse that is bell-and-hobbled,
and the blaze on her muzzle glows in the dark. You and I
imagine the ghosts of our children eavesdropping
on our meetings as they swing in the big dipper awaiting reunion.
Each time our eyes meet, you appear to recede.
At this rate, the words remain obscure and the lawyers unheard.
Cat Dixon is the author of Eva and Too Heavy to Carry (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2016, 2014) and her chapbook, The Book of Levinson, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2017. She teaches creative writing part-time at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. She has poems (co-written with Trent Walters) in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing(Black Lawrence Press, 2018).