Who but an angel can scale the stars?
The telescope aims its cannon.
I watch my brother climb the rungs.
He rains numbers, crumbs from heaven.
I scurry to collect them,
busy as a mouse at the ladder’s base.
Each night he pans,
each day I sweat the figures
into sense and grind fresh mirrors,
speculum-metal worked from its cast,
the cambers smooth, exact.
I polish as if erasing
Better this than the glass in the hall:
it cuts me at the neck. I see
a goblin, a pygmy shrew, the child
typhus wizened in its grasp.
My thoughts sway on their solitary root.
The house breathes around me,
night’s bloom. I dream
of a stranger with blue-white hair,
pristine, iconic, a flying star.
I tilt my face to
the circled dark,
a porthole on the summer stars.
I search the archipelagos of space
for a flare among the rocks,
a tern’s feather on black velvet.
The darkness swings
its slow wheel.
I see a ghost – a blaze of frost
so blue it stops my breath.
Silking the sky for three brief nights.
Indelible. Touching my life.
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