Into the Constellations

How close to grasping Orion’s Belt
would you get before its tidy trio
stretched or tilted on the angling light-years –
or simply broke?

How deep into the Great Dipper’s bowl
could you dive before it resembled
not a skyborne ladle but something else –
or nothing at all?

How distant would you have to travel
before the spread of night’s dark fabric
stretched flat constellations into sculpture –
or into different shapes entirely?

How far could you fly before you looked back
and saw, with longing eyes and giddy heart,
the familiar night sky patterns
transmuted into a new universe?

How far could you go before your
order-craving mind confessed it could
no longer compress the independent,
far-flung stars into forms it can comprehend?

At that point, I could break, or cry, or dread –
but I think I would sing, and keep sailing.


9 thoughts on “Into the Constellations

  1. Well, you had me at Orion’s Belt, but I loved this more and more with each stanza–the feeling of movement diving into the Big Dipper, the “stretched flat constellations into sculpture,” the triumphant final lines. “skyborne ladle,” yeah.

  2. Great imagery throughout, Ruby! I picked up on a theme of escape, especially in the last two lines. Like any second I could leave what I call my life and sail away to another universe.

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