Scrolling Through NASA’s Instagram Feed || Christina Kallery

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.