DEAR CASS

She’s getting downright boring,
every night lying up there,
staring down when she decides
to part the clouds, saying nothing,
as though all of the words of praise
for her must come for us, unreturned.
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised
by her vanity, it is why, after all,
she is up there now, unable to move
and we have to accept that our words
are small salve to her when the gods
invert her, and she is left
to gaze down upon us in her mirror
when she bothers to stop
gazing at her own image, but she says,
“I have all eternity, Poseidon be damned.”

CASSIOPEIA

You sit on your self-hewn throne
and stare fixedly at the night sky
as the clouds gather
and dissipate beneath you.

Do you even recall
why you were cast out
condemned to your cell so vast
and yet infinitely confining?

Does your body remember
the touch of his hand
the crude hunter
who set you aflame

with a white heat
that paled the oven of summer?
What do you imagine
as the tongues of the Persiads

lick across the sky
and disappear into the
ebony holes that lurk
in the corners and behind your eyes.

You move slowly across my world
and only the dawn brings you peace.

MISSING

Orion failed to appear last night
which allowed the bears an evening
of peace, certain they were not prey.
They cavorted as bears are wont,
to the pleasure of Cassiopeia.
The lion stuck his head in, but
lions know the bears need their space
and anyway, they could see the dragon
lurking on the horizon
and even lions know you
don’t mess with dragons
more than once.