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Original artwork by Katie M. Zeigler

After Being Struck by an Asteroid named Orpheus

Leslie Grollman

From her unmade bed on this clearest of nights, after watching Orpheus descend below the horizon line, her hand flies to her right temporal lobe. Are you a rock? She considers how rocks don’t pulsate or burst like pop-rock candy. Electric streams scream down the right side of her face. Then numbness:  not the novocaine kind nor shutting down. Her friends once remarked how her life would make a stellar book; she reminded them she almost flunked freshman comp. She thinks maybe she should have written it anyway. Did you come to usher me out?  She’d always want more time.  Can you be charmed by music? I could play you a symphony. She considers: a good life, a very good life. In pretend visits with friends, they exchange gratitude and reminiscence. Wincing, she wonders if this is the Eurydice scene she didn’t get to play on stage long ago; her drama-queen days traded for sensibility. Would you retrieve me, Orpheus? An excellent life. She pleads with the rock to be a moon or a star. If you are a rock in my head could I become a meteorite if I fall to earth? Or are you my sun? A cosmos in the right side of my head! She knows a shooting star isn’t a star anyway. Because she always wanted to ride the galaxy. Because this could be a rebirth. (Not the poet yet, she doesn’t feel the Moon rise in the left side of her head nor hear Her say ‘it isn’t over’.) Because stars live for billions of years.