First there are dual moons. One
on each side. There are two
moons and a man with a telescope.
First there is a ring made of dust. Ice.
Never water. First say the Japanese,
the ancient Chinese. Shadow
clouds over fainter stars, and all
anybody sees, blink, are terrible
flashes, darkness, blink. First march
Ottomans, the Turks. Stars come
back, blink, and invisibility projects
cosmic highway, cosmic thoroughfare,
cosmic folding screen. First then
hoop skirts. First there are Romans,
Greeks. Hindus. An angel. First
Hebrews. Lightning a thousand times
stronger. First there are three rings.
Hexagonal clouds that spin their pointed
way. One ring only. First depends on
where a man stands with his
telescope. On which mirror looks
at which mirror. Who can open
his eyes the longest? The widest?
First, then, rejection of ovals. Blink,
the arrogance of empty circle. But first
there is dynamic. Blink, first, symbol,
notation, the rings keep going, trees
no one has found first. The telescope
gets bigger, first the corners, a matter
of position, but nothing sees all the way
around, or the pool of time in between.
Callista Buchen has an MA in literature from the University of Oregon and an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University. Her work has appeared in Gargoyle, Gigantic, Bellevue Review, elimae, and others, with reviews published in Mid-American Review, The Collagist, and Prick of the Spindle.
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