Forks of Ivy, 3/4 Mile

Brandon Amico

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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