When two arcs seem likely
to intersect, it’s not inconvenient
to halt in space: to let the silence
of halting become another
sort of territory to fly through
for a while. This medium
is filled with anticipation—
because it’s never clear
what form life will take, or
if that traveler will appear at all.
It’s also filled with wondering
at the wonder: why the shaking
hands, the pacing corridors,
why the shallower breaths?
Movement through this
territory is ragged. Then
the beep comes, the alert
that another ship approaches—
and silence opens up to jangle,
a rush of it as ships prepare
to interlace their clinking skins,
to fashion a bridge in the vacuum
where creatures nothing alike
(except in essentials) can
cross, can for a spell mingle.
The jarring lock, the suction
of vacuum withdrawing,
the lifting of eyes and intake
of breath toward another face:
no wonder the tremor. It even
sounds like too much. But
most of the time the beep
never comes, and anxiety
subsides toward the usual
movement: the outward one,
the one that mesmerizes
with white streaks of light.