Pale Blue Dot by Ruth Foley

How unimportant, I am supposed to think—
our joys and losses all fit on this tip of blue:
our discarded shoes, our suitcases, their broken
hinges and zippers, the tears in the fabric,
our plastic water bottles and their ever-
increasing immeasurable gyre, our container
ships that skirt Charybdis, our equipment,
our young men dead in the streets and our
young women bent across them, the wailing,
every thought we think to list, all the words for
lie, each myth. An astronaut, I could travel
twelve years from that last shutter click to here,
or six if you would meet me in the untethered
in-between. We could spin there much as we
are now, too far from Earth to think of falling,
hands linked to each other, improbable anchors,
the fulcrum on which we always seem to turn.
And from the middle, there we’d be, the petty us
of here: the atmosphere curling above the rhinos
and giraffes, great white sharks and whales,
the black bear cub who tottered this morning
at the edge of the field where I have parked
the car tonight and where you and I slant
across the hood and talk about how we are
under the stars when it should be clear we are
in them or of them. You and I and the dog from
down the road, the one who howls his name
and never gets an answer. The rabbit startled
by his call, the grasses it hides in, the moles
beneath the grass, the worms churning earth
to soil, the mites—we are all of us here on this
inexplicably essential dot, we are all of us
doing the best we can and yes, you could be
kissing me, yes, we could be unhelmeted and
unsuited, we could be not thinking of our
separate air locks or the capsules we require
but of how very unimportant everything else is
now, how diffuse we are, how very like us.

Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two greyhounds, one of whom sometimes gets mistaken for a cow. Her work is easy to find online and in her chapbook, Dear Turquoise. She is easy to find at or by looking at her sofa. She serves as Managing Editor for Cider Press Review.





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One thought on “Pale Blue Dot by Ruth Foley

  1. Mr. D

    The wonderful mix of the Christopher Nolan movie, Interstellar; Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Common Things, and Genesis 15:5–

    And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.”

    Thanks for sharing Ruth!


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