Forks of Ivy, 3/4 Mile
reads the sign lit in my high beams between Jupiter
and Mars Hill, NC. Next morning,
a Google search for Forks of Ivy yielded
no town hall, no website, not even a population
count. Labeled: an unincorporated community.
An image search showed nothing but homes
for sale, results scrolling along
like the asteroid belt, empty space dotted
with minor planets — which is another classification
for asteroids, one that is misleading; inhospitable,
no chance for life, though the assumption that planets
can harbor life is unique on our own.
Pluto is a minor planet, possibly once Neptune’s moon
since flung from orbit, now the pair a cephalophore:
a martyred saint carrying his own severed head.
The larger stationary and the more diminutive
dynamic, how attention moves after initial discovery;
cephalophore is the phrase a friend uses for a poem
whose title carries on into the first line, hurtling
right into the body of the work.Cephalo-: Latin pertaining to the head or brain,
which is why squids and octopuses, whose consciousness
forked apart from our own — 600 million years ago
in the form of tiny wormlike, eyespotted beings —
and grew on its own, whose nervous systems are housed
not in their heads but distributed among and to the ends of
their limbs, are called cephalopods, the suffix
meaning feet: brain-in-feet.
Forever in the minefield of today, yesterday and tomorrow
safe on their respective sides of our star, my love
our paths may snake through challenge after challenge
after illness after debt after doubt but we believe
they will weave together once more. That the body unfolding
in the dark miles ahead will hold stable and our twin
beams of light, once an atmosphere apart, will converge.
And we can trust our feet to carry us to each other, again.
with thanks to R.A. Villanueva
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