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” last appeared on the blog in 2019, and is included in The Circumference of Other, my offering in the Silver Birch Press publication, IDES: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks, available on Amazon.