Encounter

A friend, seeing his babe in ultrasound, imagined it an astronaut, “behind glass dome reflections, lost in space…,” and so I had that image close to mind when the technician …

Illustration by Melinda Josie

A friend, seeing his babe in ultrasound,
imagined it an astronaut, “behind
glass dome reflections, lost in space…,”
and so I had that image close to mind
when the technician finally tipped her screen
to me, revealing—not an astronaut, but Earth,
so “small, light blue, so touchingly alone.”
Thus Leonov. It was a commonplace,
back then, that once we had the earth in sight,
the isolation of the planet “known,”
we would clean up our act, would mend our ways—
a kind of cosmic recognition scene.
So much for that, the skeptic in me says.
And yet as I beheld you floating there
I felt myself grow small, the air grow thin,
as if I were the one adrift in space,
and you the one who might yet pull me in.

This appeared in the May 2013 issue.

Amanda Jernigan
Amanda Jernigan has written two books of verse, Groundwork and All the Daylight Hours.

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