Arc of the Meridian

She steps in shapes across the freshly cut lawn,
a drumming of tiny feet against the grass,
a small hand safe inside the larger.

She is the weightless dancer, suspended against the alabaster sky.
There is puppetry to her movements,
a glow to her own voltage, a rattle of the mind.

The child reaches out, a starfish spread towards the void.
The father motions without speaking,
lifts a finger and draws an undulating arc of the meridian.
The child blinks at the nullity, distracted by the veiled starlight.

The father tries to speak, he speaks in strange whispers, his voice resisting his words.
He explains the sparks are like boiling eggs, but the yolk is like fire,
always broken, always flowing out.
The water is the welded night.

The child tells him she wants to see them up close,
closer, closer, closer.

The father tilts his head,
there are some things a child can not yet know …

The sway of our circle
adorned with life,
a perfect orbit.

The large cross upon his wall
dignity of the heart,
lungs made of old rust.

She finds a nest in his chest,
she dips her vast eyes up one last time.

The father smiles,
there are some things she can not yet see …

Between the arctic and the tropics
the suffering, a multitude of heavens,
our remains born from great kilns,
the winking out of loved ones,
the bearing of new ones.

The father would like to explain: the cycle, the impermanence,
the giving and the taking away—
but she is just a seedling and he is full of termites:
old wood, a petrified Cypress.

Oh,
how he would like to explain,
what it means to be ordained,
the faith stitched into his chest,
fingers locked like resting wings,
the sleight of hand that is life.

But the coiled serpent above, winking down its trillion crystals …
this she can know.

This is enough.

by Jakob Ryce.

This poem originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Drunk Moneys.