Prologue: Possibilities

by Mike Allen

Like the giants who boil under the land,
whose broken baby teeth form mountains,
or their sisters who seethe unbearable heat
in crevasses beneath the sea,
stars burn with appetite,
huge and slow,
diffused and directed through the legends
that pin them in place.
Another cosmos, a mere crêpe layer away,
shall afford us the best seats in the house.
Peel aside the sweet starch of time and distance
and step through. Here
the night sky's the stage once
the curtain of day rises.
Celestial bodies array themselves at impossible speeds,
acting out their stories in real-time for a globe-spanning audience.
The peoples here watch from their chateau skylights,
from their glassine-flimsy city domes,
from broad ships like wooden continents,
from arid plain and barren rock and glacier palaces.
Even the fey, real as you or I,
herd their captives out to catch the show,
the scattered soup of night become platform and proscenium.
How these incendiary orbs
hunger for our observation, our admiration,
the power of the human eye to enliven what's devoid.
With ardor they devour the scripts we dream for them,
then improvise.
Constellations shift before our eyes,
their tales our tides.
Their shadows our losses.
Their orbits our lies.

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