The Gods Return

An original poem.

we see it first from afar
the shadow on Saturn
sliding across smooth rings

a glimpse
of a puck on ice

eyes and telescopes
peer, strain, squint, probe
to bring the Distant
close as thought

on every screen
the explainers
dispel the mystery

no, it can’t be natural
the shape is too regular
too perfect, and Nature
works in fractals

it must know we’re here
it’s changing velocity
slowing down
to enter our orbit

billions and billions
wait, watch, wonder,
remember what happens
when worlds collide

we come in peace
from a watchful galaxy
to end poverty and war
and invite you to join us, or

take me to your leader,
and one misunderstanding
one wrong gesture
seals our doom, or

the fate of your
planet is at stake
change your ways
or face obliteration

many futures
many stories
anticipate the Arrival

there’s a Starman
waiting in the sky, or

in space, no one
can hear you scream

either way, some kind
of Second Coming —
repent, the end is near

they will see our satellites,
say the explainers,
and our space station
is the obvious place
to meet us

boarded-up windows
and no milk in the stores
as this hurricane
draws nigh

silent astronauts
hold their breath
and wait

for a knock

that never comes

as they fly right past
keep moving along
nothing to see here

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