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The Forge by Andy Maher

One ascends nearly 7000 feet in the Davis Mountains

to catch flashes of the large metallic globes.

The cries of ravens echo through etched lava fields,

chasing rabbits into ash.

As the tour group shivered in the altitude,

the guide reported, “When you peer into the eyepiece,

you will see a fuzzy Cheerio-shaped object.

This is Messier Object 57.”

Only recently has the star departed

the asymptomatic giant branch,

not uncommon for most stellar life cycles,

the dissipation of fusion, swept sediment.

Its forbidden lines move approximately

1 arc-second per century,

a nearly imperceptible quiver in the universe,

a handful of atoms broadcast through low densities.

The automatons watched Ares’ bloodied retreat

from the forge, Hephaestus’ triumph glittering like golden smoke.

Later, in broken anger and vanished beauty,

Phobos and Deimos achieved their orbit.

Years ago, late at night we shared a cigarette,

looking up, you said, “I find it unfulfilling

that the light we are seeing is actually

moments originating millions of years apart.”

I thought, “It makes me think about two travelers.

One moving. One static.”

In the fantasy of the metallicity of time,

we watch the silence of an exploding star.

Andy Maher is a social worker. This is his first published poem. He can be found on Twitter @notmachinefora1.

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