THE EARTHMEN COME HOME / KELLY WEBER

In the woods, there are wolves.
Trees affixed with eyes
and rib-slick hunger.

This is the season of their mating,
the time of teeth and tongues
at the base of mountains
and hot houses of their hearts.

We wait with pistols loaded.

We fell back to earth
for twenty minutes, tumbled
through radio snow and darkness
and the atmosphere’s skin-fire
until our capsule crashed.
Tinfoil-clad, we climbed from its maw
and into forest, marrow’s motion.

Night, stars knot the beams
of sky arched above our heads.
Our small fire among all that blue gravel,
places perhaps of many homes.

Fire-blackened and burn-streaked,
the heat shield warms us still
with the music of the void.
We roast rabbit the second night.
Its once-running stopped
and put within our mouths.

Space is Holocene alien cancer darkness
and through half an inch of glass,
twelve days up there,
I’d considered distant flickering spindles
of stars pointed inward, strewn
and still telling their light-story.
Two hundred degrees below zero
I looked across the big empty
where our steps have gone
in name, but our legs
have never rolled our bodies
over the small bones of our feet
in that weightlessness.

Goodnight kisses land
cold here, we rediscover frost
and slowly forget
absolute silence on the other side
of window, the blood’s
instant rush and boil
if pushed outside.
Our bones re-learn the earth.

This: sunrise every hour,
blue and yellow, pink scrim
cutting horizon in two.
And this: pitch and yaw,
control’s red blink in machines
and grace of metal
turning to our slightest touch.
Sun a coil of rope
through porthole and vacuum.

Howl. These beasts wait
with bellies full like stones,
bullets, lathed before chart
or tale. Original hunger.
The clasp of mating things.

Voices call across the radio
on the third day. We wait
by morning light for rescue

string to drop from sky emptied
of stars, our heads tipped
to listen for familiar engines,
hands shaking on the trigger.

 

 

Kelly Weber’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in several publications, including Allegro Poetry Magazine, Clade Song, Gravel, Avatar Review, Aleola, Bird’s Thumb, and Agave. Her chapbook All My Valentine’s Days Are Weird was recently published by Pseudo Poseur Press. She has taught composition and poetry at Wayne State College, where she received her BA of English Writing and Literature and her MSE in English Education. More of her work can be found at kellymweber.com.

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