Venus Transits DeKalb
June 7, 2012, for Jana
There, on the dull monitor, a ball
dwarfed by the arc
of a larger ball. Too small, too slow,
too studied to be cosmic
portent. And yet I wonder. Who,
in this hot, crowded observatory,
will be here one hundred and five
years from now to see Venus
never waver on its fixed path
past the sun? Want a piece
of gum? I hear a voice ask. And then,
our time is done.
We trek down, past those in line
on the winding stairs, out
the heavy door, back into the world
of baked earth, singed grass.
Nothing lives long, Chief White Antelope
chanted at Sand Creek
as he died, only mountains and sky.
My breath kindling his words,
his breath commingling with ours.