While standing on my back porch leaning

into the night calling my dog home, a light


ball erupted over my head and streaked


a knife gash across the sky toward north.

I knew it couldn’t be only a rock entering


my atmosphere, but something human made—

both mighty and an achievement—breaking


apart when it lost its orbit. Someone said this 


must be what happened to my husband—

that he’d come into my orbit once a long time


ago and lodged there, serenely circling as if

he were  a natural body and the gravitational


pulls a given, until something in his workings


clicked open or shut—can I say I actually recall

the day, how his eyelids closed and opened?


and what I saw was a shadow, a turning away,


            and so can you blame me if,

when this satellite descended above, my dog


not listening, again, instead wanting to smell


the leaves and soil damp from an earlier rain,

my instinct to reach upwards with both hands?


Laura McCullough is a poet and memoirist whose books include The Wild Night Dress, selected by Billy Collins in the Miller Williams Poetry Contest, University of Arkansas Press; Jersey Mercy (Black Lawrence Press); Rigger Death & Hoist Another (BLP); Panic (winner of the Kinereth Gensler Award, Alice James Books); Speech Acts (BLP); and What Men Want (XOXOX Press). She teaches full time at Brookdale Community College, has taught at Stockton University and Ramapo College, and is on the faculty of the Sierra Nevada low-res MFA where she teaches poetry and critical theory. Visit her at http://www.lauramccullough.org/.