2022 Issue > Poetry > Heart of the Milky Way
by Michael Heath
Heart of the Milky Way
We form ideas.
We form words. Gods, fairies, angels.
Meanwhile, gamma rays become radio waves
and our little eyes
a rainbow of radiation
from puffs of hot gas,
magnetized threads a hundred light years long
ribbons and rings now seen in the
South African Radio Astronomy meerKAT telescope
causing us to craft more words—cosmic soot,
supernovae, and a Trojan asteroid exposing those
gods, fairies, and angels slow to mention
who they are, always were:
Creation and Destruction.
White mist. Black hole.
We live as long as we look.
a great wind
crushes the door
a blizzard traps
while bee boxes
stand in a swirl
of white on white
seeming to scrape the sky
a still life
the bees dance
to a tune
no one knows.
Kathryn Gahl left a Wisconsin farm to earn dual degrees in English and nursing, then worked as a nurse manager before studying writing at Bread Loaf, Sewanee, Stonecoast, and the Iowa Writer's Workshop Fiction Intensive. Her cross-genre works, appearing in many journals, anthologies, and ekphrastic shows, have won many awards, including Glimmer Train, Margie, and Wisconsin People & Ideas. She is a recipient of the Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award, the Hal Prize for both fiction and poetry, plus an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. When not playing with words, cooking, or yielding to yoga, she performs live storytelling and dances mad-hot ballroom. She is the author of The Velocity of Love (Water's Edge Press, 2020), Hard Life, Hard Love (Dancing Girl Press, 2022), Messengers of the Gods (Cornerstone Press, 2022), and The Yellow Toothbrush: A Memoir (Two Shrews Press, forthcoming 2022).
Michael Heath is proud to call beautiful Baraboo, WI his adopted home. He enjoys photographing the Sauk County and state landscapes. A longtime social worker in Wisconsin, Michael currently works as a Resource Specialist at the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families where he supports foster, adoptive, and relative caregivers throughout Wisconsin. Visit https://sites.google.com/site/michaelheathphotography/about