Halley’s Comet

Ryan Brownell
Featured image: Punish a thousand wrongs in a single day © Nora Beck 2019


Daydreams of a Lonely Meteor”
I park outside the window just
to watch you read these things.
As if it were anyone’s idea of fun.

But this time is different. You look
so surprised. I can’t look away.
This is the one.

Our titular hero, just a crater-faced kid?
Barking up all the wrong trees
romantically? Wrong on both counts:
a real interstellar stone. You love
that he’s quartz in a light pink

and so shy, tumbling towards certain
spectacular death. I have learned
this much. I know how you think.

Now I feel dumb about that
iambic little doozie
I tried to pull off last week
when what you wanted all along
was something a little more head

over heels. I know you can’t
help if the best I can do
makes you want to go back to bed.

These never do quite turn out to be
functional. Reassuring.
I would show you the dark side
of any life you might have wanted.
And as for mysteries above,

a promise that it’s all but vaporized
in atmosphere; the space between
faith and an impossible love.

We all gin up more heat than light.
It’s just there’s the world
to get caught up in. Anything but
poems left out on the table.
Still you tease them apart

the satellites from the stars.
Your eyes ache. Your teeth!
The bottom of your heart.

Look to the sky. You are burning up
impurities. It is all I can do
to divine what you mean by
the silence at the top of your lungs.
Who am I to put into words

the sparkling tail of your every move?
Let’s hear more about the worm
and not the birds.