NASA Scientist

Each night he sleepwalks,
dreams of arranging stars,
craves a conversation with the universe.
His red dwarf alphabet
blinks a primordial desire to discover
a space syntax
to connect far flung molecules of life.

As he walks, he watches the sky
for a cosmic letter addressed to him
in the trail of an asteroid’s blood lines,
a comet’s flare, or bubbles from fossilized orbits.
Lover of dark spaces, he would turn off the moon,
glare that outshines the galaxies’ faint signs.

But at breakfast,
his memory is a black hole. Caffeine-stuttered,
sun-stunned awake, exhausted as meteorite ash,
he stares at his alphabet cereal
and wonders,
why it keeps spelling something cryptic
in the open mouth of milk.

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Carolyn Dahl

Carolyn Dahl was the Grand Prize winner in the national 2015 Public Poetry/MFAH poetry competition ARTlines2 and a finalist in the Work-Themed poetry contest and the 2018 Malovhr-Fenlon contest. Her essays and poems have been published in 25 anthologies and in various literary journals. She is the co-author of The Painted Door Opened, received grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, fellowships to Hedgebrook and the Writer's Colony @Dairy Hollow, and won a finalist award from PEN Texas in nonfiction.

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