Poetry

A Love Poem

by Richard Schiffman

After aeons of hurtling through space, minding its own business,
there’s suddenly this other heavenly body out there
jerking on an asteroid’s heartstrings. Not that asteroids have hearts.
And that’s the point. It’s not about hearts, it’s about collisions.
Ok, it is about hearts too, dragging their debris-trails of longings
like the tails of comets, sprays of ice and ionized gases strafing the void.
Star stuff on the run. You bet it’s lonesome. You bet there are days
when they would give anything for a place to rest, a warm planetary breast
to snuggle in. And then there comes this once-in-a-million-years opportunity.
Naturally they fall into the outstretched arms of the blue-green earth.
We’re not talking love, we’re talking gravity—some implacable force,
the fated smashup, nuclear winter, the extinction of the dinosaurs, the end
of life as we know it. It’s how the moon formed. First the collision, plumes
of dust and rubble spewing from the gored earth. And then gradually
the orbiting wreckage assembling into the lunar globe we know today.
It’s no small wonder that a near-perfect sphere could arise
from this shapeless chaos. But that’s how love works.
Ok, we are talking love—not the fatal attraction,
not the shattering impact of two heavenly
bodies, not the debris field stretching
halfway to Alpha Centauri.
But something miraculous
coalescing, shining
in the night sky
as the dust
settles.

 

Copyright © 2018 by Richard Schiffman

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Featured Poet of the Month  Richard Schiffman

Richard Schiffman is an environmental journalist and poet whose work has been published in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Scientific American and other publications. His latest book of poems “What the Dust Doesn’t Know” is published by Salmon Poetry

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