He takes me up to the planetarium to look at stars and planets. The
more we zoom in, the more the planets look like houses burning.
There are reasons for those domes, those halves of things forever
separating and coming back together. Those slats in the roof, they
can be controlled—opened and closed, unlike my mouth with its red
poppy, its dark copy. I wonder who is observing us, these two
terrestrial bodies, celestial sextants aligned only in the night. If they
zoom in, they will see two finger-like test tubes filled with fire.
Victoria Chang’s second book of poems, Salvinia Molesta, was published in 2008 by the University of Georgia Press as part of the VQR Poetry Series. Her first book, Circle, won the Crab Orchard Review Open Book Competition. She lives in Irvine, California. (6/2009)