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Galilei’s Glass

by Wendi White

  • How could this stick be the thing
  • that put us in our proper position,
  • that struck us from the center
  • to the sidelines of the firmament?
  • So homely and plain you might
  • mistake it for a broom handle,
  • the stave of a butter churn,
  • the spoke of a farmer’s wagon.
  • But turned upon the heavens
  • four hundred years ago,
  • this unassuming cylinder found
  • Jupiter festooned with moons.
  • Unfixed they circled around their god
  • each with their own step and style,
  • advancing across his form, falling
  • behind until we were dizzied
  • by their dance. All was rearranged.
  • No longer the nexus of creation,
  • we have new orbits, humbled
  • by the heresy of a stick.

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