Saturn is watching me, you told me in your
final days. Saturn has been whispering in
my ear, tugging at my soul,
I held your hand under brassy clouds and listened.
In my dreams I see the steel wire of my life, days
as millimeters, stretched out in the fog where I
can’t see its beginning or its end, you said.
And Pluto comes, in Its Gray Robes, but even Its
scissors can’t sever the line, not even when I beg,
choking on the fog–
the wire gleams unbroken.
I told you, gently, foolishly, that you should see a priest.
Now I realize, priests are only people like you and I.
This seeps deeper than Rhea’s oceans, hangs thicker
than Titan’s yellow smog. Saturn’s gravity is unimaginable.
I was the one who found the remnants of your garden,
all ashes and blackened pots, burnt promises and broken
vessels that left black dust on my hands.
Saturn’s gravity is unimaginable. Yet Sol is terribly
larger, and Sol is many magnitudes weaker than
hungry Betelgeuse, blinding Rigel, paling in
comparison to the black hole in the
galactic center, spinning
We are so small. Fleeting.
This giant was eons old when our species was born
and the gravity is unimaginable.
You had started teaching me to garden, how to cut
stems and leaves neatly, why the different soils
mattered, when to remove blossoms for new growth.
Your last lesson is crueler, dripping salt into my wounds
and rubbing it into the soil you used to so lovingly
cultivate. Cold and black now, just like space.
I do not want to hear, but your words echo in my head
as I lie sleepless. The smog is rolling in tonight.
Saturn is crushing me too–
Lore Graham is a queer author of speculative poetry and fiction who lives in Massachusetts. Their poetry has been published in Strange Horizons, Liminality, and Mythic Delirium, among other venues.