(An International Journal of Poetry)
Volume-1 december-2011 Number-2
Voyager at the Bowshock
by Anthony Rintala
Lean right out into the wind, eyes first to cut a path, and know the science
of this moment: here, at the violence of the bow, or further back,
near wheel, motors and net, nearer crabs, beer and men. This is the Voyager's path.
Scuttling across the surface of Ponchartrain, isolate this ship, Mr. Hare's
grand, suburban driveway craft, and replace it atom-for-atom with the sun, now setting,
the Earth and all. Replace me for me--important and off-center. You can be a crab.
Really, we're all crabs, here: filling up the belly of the boat, pristine. Netted
by gravity, ignorance and the picky way we eat our oxygen. Clamber and flip,
show our claws and suffocate. Sleep. This is all very important, pay attention.
But it isn't quite that simple because the crabs aren't people, they are planets.
Matched to scale, people may not model well here. We are the sun-catching foam on
one knifing mandible on one twirling crustacean tilted and tossed into its bucket.
And if one fleck, broken from that crabjaw bubble should fly, past the men and I,
past the shock of the bow where the wind takes my shout, and finds water, that is Voyager.