Robin Cedar

Out in Space

208 million miles from home,
the Curiosity rover celebrates
its own birthday, sings
itself a song in low-level beeps.

You are out in the yard
looking up at the sky.
You know the span of stars
like your own backyard.

When we were children,
I wondered if you
were an alien.
When you look up

at the sky like this,
you are not on earth
with me. Your eyes
cast upwards, head tilted.

°

I imagine you scuttling
through the Crab Nebula,
scrubbing your skin
with new cusps of stars

or you breathing
the remains of a star’s
shedding exterior, the moment
it bled iron & self-destructed.

In a dream I’ve had, you
grasp the disk-edge
of Andromeda & swirl
out into the void,

where you dance
to far-off constellations
or kneel to build sandcastles
on Mars.

°

I want to think
you’re thinking how sweet
it is to look up at the sky,
to reach out

& stretch your fingers
towards what’s so far away.
I watch you out there
in the yard & I only know

you don’t know I’m here.
Maybe you’re thinking
of buckling your seatbelt
on Curiosity or Discovery

& soaring to new horizons,
to worlds far away,
far beyond us all –
I hope you’ll tell them hello.

Unsent Letter on the Subject of Anchors

I want to think of you
not as I remember you
but as a lantern
on the end of this pier.

I want you to know, if
I ever send this,
that I fear intimacy
like water,

the way it conforms
to me, the way it fills
my lungs until I cough
up seaweed and scallops.

I never gave you the chance
to drag me beneath the surface.
Perhaps you know water
moves slowly

and there is no tide strong
enough to let you
return to where I stand
lantern still.

Author Portrait

Robin Cedar is a recent graduate of Oregon State University, where she earned her MFA in poetry and served as poetry editor and social media manager for 45th Parallel. She is a Best of the Net nominated poet and her work has appeared in Blue Mesa Review, Front Porch Journal, Crab Fat Magazine, and elsewhere.