Bio Note: A retired magazine editor, I live in Arlington, Virginia, with my husband and cat. The antique desk where I write overlooks telephone wires and maple trees. My poems have appeared widely and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. My publications include Something Like a Life, Muslim Wife, and The Unknowable Mystery of Other People.
Thinking about science it seems I could walk through walls or trees— through the ephemeral elementary particles that make up everything drifting, darting, always in motion a universe of movement a world of happenings not things Could it be that the flesh I feel when you take me in your arms is not just the dance of one to another, but also an internal congruence atom to atom We two constitute a random event one of an infinity of interactions— a tiny collision in an uncaring cosmos perhaps, but what a fortuitous one
The Alchemy of the Eye
We were born to behold the heavenly stars, a Greek philosopher said—what better reason could there be? Back then people believed the eye’s inner fire made vision possible, but we’ve learned the light pours in—not out. Light that reaches our retinas right now was born deep in the sun’s core just over eight minutes ago. First it streaked by Mercury. An hour later the light will reach Saturn if we don’t get in the way. It’s physics, or something like it, but I like to think of the eye’s alchemy— how it transforms light into image. We swim in light like fish in the sea, each wave a landscape, each ripple a singular marvel. I see you next to me and thank the sunlight for making your image appear.
Questions for the Caterpillar
Asleep in your cocoon, do you dream of wings? Are you amazed, then, by their lapidary elegance when they unfurl like umbrellas on either side? The sun through your wings like light through stained-glass windows. The veins like leading. Do you marvel that your lumbering body now lifts fluttering aloft? And what of the antennae, those delicate bobbles? Did Mother Butterfly whisper to her eggs of the spectacle to come? Caterpillar, transformer extraordinaire, tell me your story.
©2022 Sally Zakariya
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