Across the northern sky, beneath the handle of the little dipper, Ursa Minor, the bear cub, a cut of light divides a moment, then is gone, then remains, its afterimage a fading scar against the insistent blue black. Distant traffic across the East-West interstate fades into the hum of powerlines, which itself fades, and the quiet fills your mouth.
A scrap of interstellar debris, incinerated by the upper atmosphere, memorialized by synaptic circuits retracing their steps. Look back, past the field of switchgrass, the lone porch light on the rehabbed farmhouse, the silhouetted oaks, hickories, edging the Vermillion River, straight into the dark. Let your eyes adjust, then look up at no one part of the sky, but at the trembling vast. Slowly, your gaze ripples the light— the air, heavy with sumac— a dart in your periphery, compelled by gravity to burn.
-- Pablo Otavalo lives and writes in Chicago with his partner Rachel and their inscrutable cats Sebastian and Dorothy Parker. He is a recipient of the 2013 and 2014 Illinois Emerging Poet award and his work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in RHINO and Structo magazine. He is a reluctant dancer.