Fleur de Lit, 1:1 (2017)





Worley Observatory, Shreveport, LA, August 2015



The hard-lit steel plant to the east soils

the once-pure, strict dark of the fields. 

Where else to run away from home to but here,

this observatory that small-town dreamers

built atop a corncrib. Relic like us of the ’60s,

it draws dreamers still, hoping for a spectacle.

Conditions are as good as they get—

no moon, few clouds, even a breeze

to break the heat. Some stranger—

amateur astronomer?—says look to the west,

be patient, releases us to be girls,

to lie flat on dry grass, to watch the sky

for what comes: blinking planes, satellite flares,

heat lightning, the Milky Way … constellations

whose names we don’t know, so we invent them—

Sherpa, Boaz—Labs we mourn. Patience?

We have the patience of girls pole-fishing

with grandfathers deep in swamps,

girls whose stiff-fingered grandmothers spin yarns

endless as galaxies. We have the patience

to pray hard for a miracle.

Slash of a meteor so near, so bright, we startle.

Burned out too fast, too soon, even for a wish.


For Dorie LaRue