Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan

Issue #
April 26, 2020

That Extraordinary Mote of Dust

                       That’s us—a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam—Carl Sagan

as I return to the mesa       from a pilgrimage to Prague where       the Astronomical Clock is
swaddled in scrim I am       in love with Kafka as much as       I was at nineteen an irresistible

voice that deepens my life       the thrilling discovery of his sketches       my body a conduit
butterfly wings quickening me       down the cobblestone lanes       inside the pale of the castle

we left migrating hummers       outside the bedroom we left       flannel sheets on the bed
and finches in the backyard       and returned to nesting towhees       and quail strutting on

the fire anthills like they own      the horizon alight with       wildfires around the entire

bowl’s rim yet the birds are       trilling reborn by overflowing       well-water in their basins

I am awed by how life       can arise on a planet       as long as water is present
the miracle of something so       complex something so unlikely       to happen and the possibility

that given the required      exact right circumstances       anything could happen I hold
faith in Hezekiah’s       multifaceted orb       as it bobbles down the hill       my choice of one facet

leading to certain possibilities             and then the next plane opens to a certain more but
given the incline no choice      can ever lead back to those       that were bypassed

this mesa is where I will       spend my days as I wrap myself       in the tick of the copper clock
time measured instead by       the sequencing of the sun       a metronomic movement

described by       winter’s grasping at warmth       followed by       the summer shunning of heat
and always       the pitfall of endeavoring      to hold the spheres still

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