Astropoetica: Mapping the Stars through Poetry

Observable Universe

for Lisa

She admits to me that debate exists
over what exactly she found this morning
in Arecibo, whether the wispy white blemish
that sprawled across her monitor is simple:
a cluster of plasma, unclassified space

or something greater. Her voice is light
and airy, full of wanderlust and tension.
I can hear her switch her weight, the phone
brushing against her cheek. It has only been
three nights since I left her standing

at the airport gates. Sitting on our front porch,
I burn a cigarette and watch the stray cats 
duck into alleys. The streetlamps block all hope
of stars. I stare skyward and blow smoke spirals
into the night, uncurling like so many galaxies.

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Audrey Walls' poetry and fiction have recently appeared in The Monongahela Review, Saw Palm, The Louisiana Review, Mason's Road, and The Best Young Writers and Artists in America anthology. She was awarded the Poetry Society of Virginia's 2011 Frank Craddock Memorial Prize. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.