Don’t feel bad, Valdez,
the new galaxy
probably isn’t any better
than the one we have right here.
The grass is always redder
on the other side of the cosmos,
the sky is always a more exotic orange.
The constellations there are just groups of stars
that someone else has named.
To be honest, though,
I would love to see it, too,
and I imagine us on the rocket ship,
strangers in different seats,
tourists with new sneakers and Polaroid cameras,
scrutinizing our itineraries. We’ll see places
with names like the Magenta Falls, the Silver Geyser,
the Glass Forest, and we’ll take so many pictures
that I’ll even accidently capture the back of your head
in a pic of the silver water stretching into the orange sky
as the tour guide’s explanation is lost in the iridescent sparkle.
I’ll bump into you in the Glass Forest, breaking a translucent limb,
and we’ll jump at the sound, even though the clink of glass shards falling
is steady like rain. Back on the rocket,
we’ll be stuffed with photos,
we’ll nod and smile from our seats, knowing each other now,
fellow galaxy tourists,
seasoned with the light of a new and wonderous sun
just as blindingly yellow
as the one we already have.
Yesterday, I was walking home from work and noticed some writing on the sidewalk. I stopped and took a picture, and went home, but I kept thinking about poor Valdez, not knowing where the new galaxy is, so I wrote this poem today. So I suppose this poem is half found, and half inspired by a picture.