Is That a Spit of Rain I Hear or Shrapnel from an Asteroid?
By Donna Kane
Oh Dimorphos, little moonlet born into our imagination
by your wavering light now destined to be a skewered
kebob or at the very least nicked to change the speed
of your orbit around Didymos, the potentially hazardous
near-Earth object of the Apollo group you cling to.
It’s never easy when two objects want to be in the same
place at the same time. At the intended kerthump,
imagine Edgerton’s milk drop coronet to the prelude
of Also sprach Zarathustra while we take God into
our own hands. In truth, I’ve had more near misses
than collisions, more coming so close to being struck
by pickup trucks gunning lefts through traffic-controlled
crosswalks than I care to recall, precursors as they are
to the souped-up grill that will finally do us in, ejecting
plumes of what bound us, a glowing debris
returned to little more than ash.
By Donna Kane
Intent on crumpling flecks of weathered deck
inside your mouth, you launched from your planet
of ribboned pulp, just as I, interstellar object
on a mission to a glass of wine, crossed your flight
path – wallop to you, sting to me, your venom
exciting my pain receptors, my cheek
swelling like your nest, which kept growing
from the inside out. I thought of doing you in,
but season’s end comes soon enough. Amphoras
of spit emptying out their hearts.
Is that you dragging your starving husk across
the floor? Here, drink this sugared water.
Each of us takes that final breath.
Exhales – we hope, sated.
By Donna Kane
Like that marvel of science
Bruce Banner, who watches his body
expand, buttons popping
from his shirt, disclosing the Hulk,
so I watch my body fall apart,
disclosing time. Both Bruce and I
unwitting and without a cure.
But does the Hulk, once disclosed,
also disclose Bruce Banner?
Does time, once disclosed,
also disclose me? They say music
discloses the fabric of the universe,
but is not the universe,
so there’s that, I say to my friend.
The two of us are discussing old
television shows and time's passage,
drinking cider from apples
that fell to the ground, disclosing
gravity. Though it’s not so much
the apples that fell, my friend says,
as it was the tree that dropped them.
All those delicate white blossoms
transforming into fruit, swelling
until the green apples became
too heavy to hold. We agree
something else is afoot,
but neither of us can grasp it.
Donna Kane’s poems, short fiction, reviews and essays have been published widely. She is the author of the non-fiction book Summer of the Horse and of three books of poetry, most recently Orrery, a finalist for the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award. A new book of poetry, Asterisms, is forthcoming in Spring 2024. She divides her time between Rolla, BC in Treaty 8 Territory and Halifax, NS in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and traditional lands of the Mi’kmaq people.