Voyager, -Bound, Father
Old man, believer in other, surely better
worlds: up there would be anti-gravity,
your bones buoyed, seeming not to know
each other, never having met. No air, either.
You'd like it there, in the dark room
of boyhood dreaming; you saw it
on TV and never forgot. No narrative,
there’s no space in space and no way
to hold you. When you let go, you'll sink
down low. You’ll rise, too, like a cream top.
I’d give you away—a way up—if I could.
You might as well be the silence
of Voyager's orbit, the golden record itself:
far-flung message, eternally unheard.
Father, now you are the ghost elephant,
the vacant boat, the spot on the wall
where a portrait used to hang, brighter
than its surrounds, demonstrating loss.
You are the cockless dawn, the cloudless
sky, the draught-blighted farmland
of the Midwest. Deep in earth though not
of Earth at all, you are black-hole material:
demoted planet, imploded star, I wake
because you told me of landings.
 From Jean Valentine’s “Ghost Elephants”
 From Li Young Lee’s “Black Petal”
Katherine Fallon received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is the author of The Toothmaker's Daughters (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in AGNI, Colorado Review, Juked, Meridian, Foundry and Best New Poets 2019, among others. She shares space with two indoor cats and one stray, a giant water turtle, two semi-aggressive cichlids, two chickens and her favorite human, who helps her zip her dresses.