Poetry

Galileo Falling

by Stuart Greenhouse


Just a distant
flyby,

safe as
any other

these ten
years,

then a turn
inward

to the pull
it had

always
banked against

before, then
faster,

falling
only,

a pure
vector,

not long left
now

that the
atmosphere

is nearing,
almost here—

this is no
black hole

event
horizon, but

it might
as well be—

40 gees
of pressure

at its
rarest

topmost
weather

means that
though

no solid
ground

(unless the
hydrogen

at its core
clenched

exotic metallic
beyond our

understanding
might be

in some way
solid-seeming) 

waits,
it won’t be

needed;
the Galileo

is bending
out of form,

almost
sheet-

metal flat
now—and it

hasn’t
even

touched on
the lightest

methane
clouds—

moonlets
in their

last
death-

spirals
don’t make it

that much
farther,

why should our
little box

of sight
and thought   

think it might
survive

anything
but the outmost

air
this giant is?

We tracked it
in

until it failed
hopeful

to learn something new
but

as our thoughts are
to our own depths,

what it reached
was at best

superficial,
skin-deep,

insubstantial
to the whole.

Copyright © 2018 by Stuart Greenhouse

poet_Eric_Pinder75x105

Featured Poet of the Month  Eric Pinder

Eric Pinder is the author of If All the Animals Came Inside, Counting Dinos, How to Share with a Bear, and other books for children. Although he may never achieve his childhood ambition of becoming an astronaut, he does drive an old car with almost enough mileage to reach the moon. Find him on Twitter: @EricPinder.

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