After the Last Astronauts Had Left Us, II (Laika)

After the Last Astronauts Had Left Us, II (Laika)

After the Last Astronauts Had Left Us, II (Laika)

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Yes, they had been brave in the face
of it. The Geiger counter
                at navel-gazing.
Down here, Earth vespers nothing but its tinfoil
sermon. How to Survive These Extraordinary Days.
Particle angels     and lost radio stations
teach you how to read your self.
I sink like a pinprick through that Sunday hymnal,
and scour the worlds for proof of us.
Sputnik in the news. Mother in her vestal suit,
clutching the whimpering canine,
both of them orphans, inscrutable.
Stray
smiles emerging. Did I imagine it?
The moon between the pews, searching
for a tuppence, the milky congregation gone.
Her voice hanging its white frequency in my ear.
Gamma radiating
some kind of fractal            the dark growing older
between us. Each day mute
in its numbness.
We learned too well this steady decade of forgetting.
The wild                               unfathering of it
Crackling her helmet static,
the same broadcast inevitable.
How to measure in obsoletes—
Ten cubits and a rope of hair.
I press my face into the night and listen,
mapping out judiciously the binary
of her language.
Some scarce dactylic.
Her song a distant banner.
Interstellar. Lunar. Monolithic.

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