Lanthanum 2.13


Three days from now, the curious Kepler spacecraft
sheers away – to waltz three years around the sun.
An array of (57 or so) sensitive lenses (spun
with lanthanum oxhide) will zero in on shafts

of thread-thin shadow, infinitely microcosmic
absences of light. Tracks of possible companion
planets – tiny blue dots of rain and ocean
signifying life-nest (heimlich – nigh-human picnics).

Meanwhile Hobo, Blackstone, old King Dave, all
zero in on one dank limestone river-cave,
where Mississippi light pings upward from a grave.
Love's unquenched anguish permeates each wave,

propels each searching heartbeat. Sunk beneath
the West Bank surf, a cavern-archive hives
his poems (buried Berryman). What survives
that plaintive blizzard of spent pipesmoke – wraiths

of ashes, loosened from the bridge? Resurrection
Cemetery keeps his bones for Jubilee (through
an eternity of snow). He saw it coming too –
after the seared straw, the drowned vermin

skip from his guttered, quavering soul. So
they gather by the river there, those three –
three musky Minnesota tears. They also see.
Bill folds his memoir into slate notebooks. O

dove-wing bookend, dovethroat-rain-bowstring
King Dave unbends one taut-suspended 7th toward
his poisonous bull's-eye. And Hobo (orphan-ward of
almond glance) croons a farewell... (like a bee-sting).