milk of All Souls'

               to Reinhard Genzel & Andrea Ghez

For decades, the rival astronomers
– Genzel, male, & female
Ghez – aimed instrumental
eyes toward the heart of the cosmos –

muted piano key of the galaxy.
Genzel flung his telescopic
javelin (atmospheric
annihilator) toward a dusty

shoulder of Chiron (the man-horse,
Sagittarius) while Ghez
gazed from the Andes,
waiting, measuring her course.

From the center of the Centaur
the whisper of a signal,
as from Eye of Bull.
As if from his maze, a Minotaur

murmured – beckoned toward his lair
in the galaxy’s grave
(her gravity-cave,
light-shrouding tomb of Milky Way).

As if across the Black Sea
the shadow of the Argo,
like a winged hippo-
horse, shaped signal-symmetry –

echo of those sunken galleys
encrypted on the salty
floor – an Ariadne-
thread from Sagittarius


as on a line from eye to Ghez
its waver-tremor moved
from Memphis to beloved
son... a bullet-train (just MLK’s).

We’re standing on that floor of sound.
The black hole marks an end
for time & space – a frond
of palm marked Jonah, on a ground

of milky whale-spume.  There
he stands, in her eye
of hurricane – not angry,
mild – her Son of Man, her heir

of air, from navel of gravity
humming his servant-
song (for a new advent
of justice, lovingkindness, charity).

Where Ocean River shapes galactic
horseshoe lakes (whorls,
eddies of fresh worlds
and clear water) your prophetic

Nazir chants his invitation
to return to life – joy
spiraling unceasingly
from springing restoration

of all things; eternity
undying, in that heart
where all the rivers start –
her darting glance, from middle C.


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