Encountering Poetry / March 2012 (Issue 16)

Sample 70215, 84

by R. Joseph Capet

Cernan's pick drove into the glassy silver
like Trotsky's skull or winter ice,
cut a Tahitian pearl of great price
and splashed it down in the South Pacific.
A curator cased it on the Potomac
with a plaque to ask visitors to touch it gently.

Year by year, beneath empty skies,
this glittering gem of an alien Vulcan
was ground to sand by all mankind.
Beneath groping, sticky fingers it became fine fairy dust
to fire the dreams of little hands.

And in the darkness of the night,
while visions of distant worlds danced in their heads,
God came stealing down their chimneys
and read their palms with burning tongues
like a man sifting the shattered shards of a mirror
searching for himself.
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