LOOKING INWARD FROM MARGARET RIVER
Driving from Perth south to Margaret River,
late in the velvet night my friend pulled off the road
onto a dirt track where we bumped and swayed.
A fenced-off field on one side,
rows of vines on the other.
I turned to ask where we were going.
‘Wait,’ he said.
Slowly onward some minutes more,
slow rocking in the dim glow from a moonless sky.
He cut the engine. ‘Wait.’
We sat in silence, the vine rows black on dark.
‘We can get out now.’
Electric insect noises, horses snuffling nearby, smell of manure.
‘Look up,’ he said.
A smear of muted colours spread across the sky
bright, clear, benumbing, our Milky Way
as this city boy had never seen it.
From the viewing platform of our remote planet,
a billion stars spread out below me.
‘The centre of our galaxy is there,’ he pointed,
his finger tip blacked out stars, nebulae, galaxies.
He seemed to know his way around.
I looked inward at that blurred and bulging glow,
for a moment fearing I might stumble,
fall forward down into that central light,
into the black hole at its heart.
Kieran Egan lives in Vancouver. His chapbook, Among the Branches, was published by Alfred Gustav Press (2019). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in about a dozen Canadian, a dozen US, a dozen UK, and three Irish magazines.