Out of Orion’s belt the star blew past,
so quick I thought I must be dreaming. 5AM
is dreamtime after all, the threshold space
between the stars and dawn. I stand, head back
on the flat roof above my room, constellation
framed in oak and pine. I’ve memorized
the diagrams, Betelgeuse to the left,
Bellatrix to the right, Orion’s three-starred
belt in the center, Rigel blazing at the bottom.
Our very looking shapes the scattershot
of fire as earth goes rolling through the field
of particles cast off by Halley’s comet,
debris ignited on the arc of night,
immolation of the broken in its flight.
Contentious questions wrestle in my sleep,
and fall like a jugglers’ oranges at my feet,
then tumble gold and glowing toward the pen,
cryptic, strange—the dreamscape streaming in,
a universe made up of glistening shards
small chips of glass trapped in a house of cards
uneasy shapes spinning before they settle
waves of color rise from bass to treble,
shiver with vibrations lithe and thin,
an alligator sun stretched over ocean,
the lazy monster takes a sudden notion
to lift itself and breathe and gleam and grin.
Susan Lefler’s poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She was nominated by editors for a Pushcart Prize in 2014 and 2015. Her first collection of poems, Rendering the Bones (Wind, 2011) won honorable mention in the 2012 Oscar Arnold Young Contest for Book. In January, 2016 she received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Queens University in Charlotte, NC. She lives in the mountains of western North Carolina and is in love with the moon.