Astropoetica: Mapping the Stars through Poetry


The mean distance from the earth to the moon
is increasing by 3.8 meters per century. At some
point the moon will escape earth's gravity and
drift away.

We knew she had her sensitivities.
When all the windows opened in sweat-soaked June,
we'd hear, rehearsed obsessively, the strains
of “Clair de Lune”

or bits of Rusalka. At a polite remove,
how could we tell her feelings? Bored? Ill-used?
She'd always kept half-hidden. (In good light,
had the face looked bruised?

Too late to ask.) He talks for hours now, brooding
on her old letters, marveling how their strange
hints of cycles, shadows, moodiness
and metaphors for change

thud in his ears like '50s doo-wop diction,
all croon and tune, a boom-shi-boom insistence
unheard then, in the force of that attraction
lost in the distance.

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Maryann Corbett is the author of two chapbooks, Dissonance (Scienter Press, 2009) and Gardening in a Time of War (Pudding House, 2007), and a winner of the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize and the Lyric Memorial Prize. Her poems, essays, and translations have appeared in River Styx, Atlanta Review, The Evansville Review, Poetry East, Water~Stone Review, The Chimaera, Umbrella, and many other journals in print and online. Her full-length collection Breath Control is due out from David Robert Books in 2012.