By peering through a telescope with the dust cap still screwed on. But instead of a blank void, there is a tiny Botticelli sketched against the dark, iridescent as a clamshell in seaspray, as a dewdrop on a petal on a wet, black oil slick. The ocean churns like a stomach sour with desire. A butterfly ache. A swallowtail, a skipper, a hairstreak, a glasswing beating ceaselessly against the riptide current and the western wind. Because maybe beauty is terror, an infinite-eyed, four-mawed angel who demands total surrender to an unknowable, unmappable constellation, who commands, LOOK, and points a finger heavenward to the still blinking dead stars.
-- Katrina Smolinskyis a poet from the Pacific Northwest. She is an MFA candidate at the College of Charleston, and a graduate of the Evergreen State College. In collaboration with the Gibbes Museum of Art, she works as a poetry instructor at St. John’s High School.