Self-Portrait with Orbit


Self-Portrait with Orbit

An arced path around a central point, bound to but held apart,
as in night’s returning grace, or standing waves.

In periapsis, you reach out as I slowly withdraw.

Gravity does not prevent departure but prolongs it.

The acceleration of a body is equal to the sum of the gravitational forces, divided by its mass. I rise from the chair but can’t escape.

Not circular but elliptical.

Where falling away and curving from never meet.

Realizing that I am neither focus nor center, I discover place
in symmetry, in flow and subtraction.

A cloud obscures the sun and you close your eyes.

I wither at the thought of scaling or relative size, or your departure.

In the simplest Klemperer rosette, four bodies cycle their dances,
heavy, light, heavy, light, in a rhombic configuration.

My arteries fill in opposition to desire.

Wanting you, I absolve weight and listen, accept my place.

“Self-Portrait with Orbit” is included in The Circumference of Other, my offering in the Silver Birch Press publication, IDES: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks, available on Amazon.
old man grammo - upsidedown

30 thoughts on “Self-Portrait with Orbit

  1. You should rent/sell your titling services, Bob. “Self-Portrait with Orbit,” love the alliteration of the title, as well as the poem’s overall viscerality, the melding of science/reason and raw emotion/corporeality. Brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My mind bounced around all sorts of cosmological words as it achieved escape velocity and approached Event horizon, and as always, I am transported by your writing, Robert. Thank you.😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Translating scientific concepts into the poetic endeavor is one of the more tricky around. So easy to get caught up in terminology and abstract notions that have no grounding. You’ve done an excellent job. Very impressive.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you for sharing this poem . . . it reminds me that our lives are likely influenced by macrocosmic forces (spiritual, Natural, or otherwise) that are beyond our individual control . . . perhaps the best we can do within the greater whole is to discover and live and share our personal passion and genius . . which you have done so well here.

    Liked by 2 people

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