Scrolling Through NASA’s Instagram Feed | Christina Kallery

2 mins read

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken – John Keats

These rainbow worlds of swirling nebulae
arrest you as you thumb
past smug celebrities, vacation shots
and selfies hoping to inflame an ex.  

Golden discs of galaxies are sequins
spilled on a black shag rug.
The center of the Milky Way a haze 
of snow that sweeps a darkened window.

The arctic indigo of sloping Martian dunes
are rumpled sateen sheets on the bed
of someone lonely. Next, a star 
that might be orbited by habitable planets 
yet is so distant that its numbers multiply 
to never. All that mystery glittering 
eons off, whose light has come so far
it may have smudged out 
into nothingness by now. 

Imagine gazing out across 
a scratchy couch at someone you would like
to love you, but they don’t. 
It seems there lies an infinite expanse
between your bodies in that stretch
of tweed upholstery.

Your spaceship capsule’s sprung a leak
and icy Nothing rushes in and fills you
with an incandescent ache.

But you are close enough to see 
the amber storms that whirl 
forever in their irises, that atmosphere 
a place too beautiful, too far 
and full of fire. 

Christina Kallery is the author of Adult Night at Skate World, a chapbook that was recently published by Dancing Girl Press. Her poetry has appeared in The Collagist, Gargoyle, Failbetter, Rattle, and Mudlark, among other publications. She served as submissions editor for Absinthe: A Journal of World Literature in Translation, poetry editor for Failbetter and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. She currently resides in Detroit.