Heliocentric – BY KEITH S. WILSON

If I beg and pray you to set me free, then bind me more tightly still.
— Homer


I’m striving to be a better astronaut,
but consider where I’m coming from,
the exosphere,
a desk where the bluest air
thins to a lip. Impossible
to know the difference
from where I sit and space.
I promise I still dream
of coming back to you, settling
on your yellow for the kitchen.
We won’t fight. Let it not manifest.
Not over the crumpled bodies
of laundry. Let us not row
over the nail polish, its color,
the spilled sun. Inspiration
is the deadliest radiation.
It never completely leaves the bones.
You know.
From here,
there are no obstructions
but the radiant nothingness. An aurora
borealis opens
like a fish. This. To the pyramids, yes,
to a great wall. And there you are,
moving from curtain to curtain. O, to fantasize
of having chosen
some design with you.
But the moons over Jupiter. But
asteroids like gods
deadened by the weight of waiting. I remember
you said pastel
for the cabinet where the spice
rack lives. That I ought’ve picked you
up flowers when I had a chance. Daisy, iris, sun.
Red roses. Ultraviolet,
the color of love
(what else but this startles the air open
like an egg?).
I’m really trying
to be better, to commit
to memory the old songs about the ground,
to better sense your latitudes,
see the corona of your face.
Take your light
as it arrives. Earth is heavenly
too. But know that time is precious
here. How wine waits years and years to peak.
What is there to do: I’ve made love
to satellites in your name.
I’m saying I can’t say
when I’ll return. Remember me, for here are
dragons and the noble songs of sirens.
Stars that sway
elysian. Ships that will not moor, lovers
who are filled with blood and nothing
more. Who could love you
like this? Who else will sew you in the stars?
Who better knows your gravity and goes
otherwise, to catastrophe?
I’ve schemed and promised
to bring you back a ring
from Saturn. But a week passes, or doesn’t
manage. Everything steers impossible
against the boundless curb of light.
Believe I tried
for you. Against space. Time
takes almost everything
away. To you. For you.
A toast to the incredible. I almost wish
I’d never seen the sky
when always there was you. Sincerely,

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