Planetary kiss

A few nights ago
two planets appeared
(from our rooted earthly
vantage point) to snuggle
each other, separated by
the width of a pencil eraser
held up at arm’s length.

I missed it, thanks to clouds,
but, I thought, no biggie—
kissing, while a charming
notion, is a bit silly because
Venus and Jupiter are separated
by 400 million miles, more than
four times the distance between
Earth and sun.

Tonight, just before getting
into my car, I looked up to see
the pair dancing higher in a clear
western sky, on their way to
the horizon, farther apart now
and vertically aligned, a cosmic
colon in conjunction.

And I stood midway in the moonlit
street for a while, captivated, trying
to decide if Venus was higher than
Jupiter or the other way around,
until I realized: doesn’t matter.

Those two pearly orbs, like all
planets moving in their grand ellipses
around the sun, do their do-si-dos
in the same pattern across the sky,
as they have for millennia,
as they will do for millennia,

and we lucky souls on this planet
get to count ourselves, yes, starstruck,
when we think to look up and admire
such dazzling brilliance in this fortunate
happenstance of a moment.

Venus and Jupiter by astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station, 2015 / NASA

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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