The Rusty Toque | Issue 12 | Poetry | June 30, 2017
Report on the Bright Spots on Ceres
We’re speculating on our speculations.
Bright spots. Plumes of ice? We’ll know
once we draw in closer. Our cyclops Dawn.
There’s rumour that within months, Ceres’s
status will change. A Houston girl who turns
sixteen. The debut of ninety-nine cents
become a single dollar. Come official word,
a thousand children will be primed to string
floss and foam additions to the world’s solar
system mobiles. They’ll learn it’s okay
to admit others were wrong. And will
be wrong again. We’re still smarting over Pluto.
Our internal mnemonics refuse alteration. How
many times do I have to tell you
you never stop loving someone. In Switzerland,
versions of us are smashing microscopic
holes into the known universe with the idea
that they, like us, will radiate
and die in short time. I sent them a letter
to say the platypus has poisonous spurs
and the huntsman spider is mostly harmless.
I've done my part. Come Friday, look
to see if the lights go out or burn brighter. For now,
textbook pages tremble as each letter dilates
to accommodate what we hope for against
what we need to hope for. The mechanical failure
of our best pitch set forth on a slow drift.
We’ve breached the hearth
of the original thought. What was it I needed to do?
I can’t recall what it was I once thought.
Stand at the sharp end of a shark’s tooth
of beach, inch back as tidal waters dull the point.
You split the tall grass and retreat.
Downriver, a voice. I think this is too far,
to unseen companions. Ticks, small
as the graphite tip long buried
in your palm, constellate your legs.
Two days until Pluto. The small
have an invested interest in the small.
You are on vacation and reading
about Lyme disease. New reports
on Pluto. Daily, teenagers shore up.
Hexagons and a whale’s tail.
They strip and dress driftwood
with triangles of wet Lyrca. Unlit
Jack-O-lantern eyes. Yesterday, a local
asked, Do you realize you use pronouns
when you talk about spacecraft?
Inquire after ticks. The ounce of cremains
aboard the probe. Nine years, three billion
miles, the afterlife of Tombaugh’s
ashed eye. A text to an outdated question
blinks awake. All good. Just revelry.
Open your computer, type Define
revelry. An issue with constant values
and constant invalidation of facts.
Define fact. The dwarf’s dwindling
atmosphere, five natural satellites.
Etymology tick. From a window, watch
a girl swim to the closest island.
Don’t worry, a boy yells. Not enough salt
for sharks. To the tick to the bird
to the girl, I whisper, Dogfish.
And something about love.
DANI COUTURE is the author of three books of poetry and the novel Algoma (Invisible Publishing). Sweet (Pedlar Press) was nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and won the ReLit Award for poetry. Her most recent book is YAW (Mansfield Press).