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John Bradley's Poetry

Venus Transits DeKalb
            June 7, 2012, for Jana

There, on the dull monitor, a ball
            dwarfed by the arc
of a larger ball. Too small, too slow,

too studied to be cosmic
            portent. And yet I wonder. Who,
in this hot, crowded observatory,

will be here one hundred and five
            years from now to see Venus
never waver on its fixed path

past the sun? Want a piece
            of gum? I hear a voice ask. And then,
our time is done.

We trek down, past those in line
            on the winding stairs, out
the heavy door, back into the world

of baked earth, singed grass.
            Nothing lives long, Chief White Antelope
chanted at Sand Creek

as he died, only mountains and sky.
            My breath kindling his words,
his breath commingling with ours.