AFTER SPEAKING WITH MY FATHER ON THE PHONE, I STEP OUTSIDE AND REMEMBER THE CATHOLIC SATELLITE THAT IS TRYING TO MAKE IT TO HEAVEN
Some June nights are too cold
for dew, and in that sea
of stars we watch satellites
zip by on their line. Who is talking
in there? Where on Earth? They carry
our voices away for us.
Let’s say their satellite really does
make it all the way to God—then what?
At the Vatican they are simply open
to the possibility, the team of Cardinals
whose job is to look;
a diamond proportion scope
pressed to the world’s finest monitors.
A computer drifts through space
like a speck of dust in a cathedral
and apertures in on nebulae, ice
rings, the original silt of the universe.
The first telegram ever sent
crossed five miles of land, and said—
in a series of dots on paper—
what hath God wrought? The crowd
of reporters cheered, then dashed out
to write the story. Morse,
alone with his invention
realized the other guy was still
on the line—have you had your supper?—
yes—what had you? So the fifth
telegram ever sent is the word mutton,
the blood-dark meat of sheep.
One writer believes that poetry
is a window, and one writer
describes poetry as a door.
The poet who said I write for the dead,
and the poet who said her audience
was God. In the Vatican, technology
for the deepest, purest looking.
Some other sun breaks dawn
across mountains of some other planet
and ripples through the color spectrum.
Dawn there lasts 100 years. A newly
ordained leans to that light
thinking he could be the one
who finds the face.
Craig Beaven’s books are Teaching the Baby to Say I Love You (Anhinga Press Poetry Prize, September ‘22), Teaching English Lit the Day After a Shooting (Cutbank Chapbook Prize Winner, May ‘22), and Natural History (Gerald Cable Award, ’19). He lives with his family in Tallahassee, Florida.