Orbital: by a poet on the run


Orbital Become a dogged, dying star. Track your gravitational field on hunks of space matter ahead of you. It’s midday, race day, mile 10, and you have to get out of your own way. You feel it when you break one, feel it in your solar plexus as you close the gap and something snaps like a plastic bracelet too thin to pass your knuckles. Pick them off, coach says, one by one, and you swell beyond your falling-rising limbs. You, a Hale Bop blaze of will. The trail talks a sun’s tongue, noon-chapped and dust hung. Your eyes dim to sepia, feet crunch to the percussion of your lungs, and drum. Charged, your target senses your shadow long at her feet, sees your fists and tastes a moment she might draft in your tail, become debris in your gravity—but she snaps. You engulf and forego with a swish of forearms, satiated only for the moment lost in attaining it. Both sting and relief. It’s a race, the silent scrape of resolve.

Jen Marshall Lagedrost j.m.lagedrost@gmail.com

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