Hubble Captures the Ghost of Cassiopeia
Here the queen is seen with her hair
piled high, frosty blue wisps pinned together,
her robes pooling on the sky-floor, swirled
around the seat of her throne. Her cheeks hold
a blush of laugher, her skin pricked with rose gold jewels.
She looks flawless underneath Polaris,
her shroud loose about her shoulders
like she hurries nowhere, dresses for no one.
We wonder where in this picture is the ghost?
Most would tell us it’s the light spread of frosting,
the iridescent river nearest the edge that mimics a body.
But what if the ghost is the biggest dark spot between her pale arms?
The absent center, the hole the whole image bends around?
Or what about the disparate brightest points?
The spots that bleed the camera’s pupil into exes?
Anyone who’s held a death knows how infinite
it becomes, light-years of hydrogen sparks in a dark sky.
Aly Pierce lives in Beverly, Mass., where she drinks coffee and mails you records from Deathwish Inc. Her debut collection, The Visible Planets, is available now from Game Over Books.