Winter Solstice

By Natalie Taylor

Jupiter and Saturn closer than they’ve been since the Middle Ages.

Swinging around to check on the puny humans,
see how we’re coping with famine and war and plagues.

How many drinking from a Dom Perignon fountain,
how many grubbing over gritty water.

A celestial shindig of tilts and orbits
arriving, right on time, 800 years later.

Saturn’s lightning storms create giant clouds of
soot that blacken thunderstorm alleys.

After it falls the span of two and a half earths, soot
solidifies to graphite, then diamonds.

Diamond rain melting to sea.
Jupiter’s million-megawatt aurora escorted

by Io’s 400 volcanoes,
gem-crusted Galilean moons.

Now they’re dancing to the compressed heart of an old star
—a 10 billion-trillion-trillion-carat cosmic diamond

that pulses and rings like a gong.
Maybe not much has changed

since last time they rolled in together.
Trolls still digging for buried treasure

when all the dazzle—methane and crystalized carbon
and hot cores transformed to brilliance—

like the persistence of awe, is above. Look up.

Natalie Taylor earned a BFA in English with a creative writing emphasis from the University of Utah. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Eden’s Edge and her work has been published in 15 Bytes, Hubbub, Hunger Mountain, Kettle Blue Review, Rock & Sling, SWWIM Every Day, and Talking River. She won first place in the 2016 Utah Original Writing competition and was named a 2017 Mari Sandoz Emerging Writer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s