They arc over the night mall,
like streetlights on the ecliptic:
Venus, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter.
In the sunset’s pale afterglow,
Venus hardens into a diamond.
Lugubrious, yellow, Saturn’s
like a light underwater.
Sluggish, it takes a decade to move
against the distant stars. Mars
is a gleam on a bloody sword.
But Jupiter’s the one I watch,
higher than the others, rising
into the darkening sky.

Gazing into my father’s refracting
telescope as a boy, I marveled
at the four tiny moons ringing
Jupiter, just as Galileo saw them
for the first time in 1610.
He cracked the crystal spheres
forever, and drove the gods
out of their celestial houses.

Here in the mall parking lot,
I want to re-name them:
Whammy, Kybosh, Bailiwick, Bejesus
Look up, and see your selves.

Peter Blair

Peter Blair has published 3 books of poems, two of them by Autumn House Press, and his work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Poetry East, and Labor. He teaches at UNCC and lives in Charlotte with his wife and son.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN