John Bradley's Poetry

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.