Dream of Light and Space Debris by Ronald Dzerigian
—after reading Searching
for the International
Space Station, by Sean
A stack of books, a ceramic walrus on top, a plant
—tips dry—in a white vase on a glass-topped burl
wood side table. My wife sleeps on the couch, feet
wrapped in a knitted throw; I watch her from
my chair. Her eyes turn beneath their lids; perhaps
her dreams consider the colors of light through blinds—
our two girls sleep silently. Clock ticks; the ceiling
fan sounds like draining water. I’ve just read a poem
about a space station. It is moving; people are inside
turning knobs, eating, sleeping, weightless. A stack
of books would come apart in the heavens; light
is different without dust and rusted beams parting
plumes of atmosphere. Sleep pulls us through clouds
of memory—we forget who we are when we sleep.
Our youngest wakes us and we don’t ask her to recall
the bad dream; it will be forgotten. My wife’s face
moves against soft folds of woven pink, brown,
yellow, orange, waking without waking. The ceiling
fan sounds like water; the station remains above us;
our stack of books will not come apart mid-air.
I see the photograph of the one person bruised
by a meteorite, Ann Hodges—Sylacauga, Alabama—
struck in 1954 while napping on her couch. I think
of flames that rise from surfaces that cut across the sky,
lines ignited red or green. I consider the inability
to fall; the orbit of bodies that shine back as we look up.
RONALD DZERIGIAN resides in a small farming community just outside Fresno, California, with his wife and two daughters. He received his MFA from California State University Fresno and has been a recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ Ernesto Trejo Memorial Prize and the C.G. Hanzlicek Fellowship.