the dinner table, Dad would say
it too was atoms -- massed in galaxies
made mainly of empty space. At night, the bees’
drone of electrons woke me -- a Milky Way
was whirling on the tip of my fingernail,
ten thousand planets dancing on its pale
half moon. Would bed, desk, dresser lose their grip
on the braided rug? Outside was empty space --
dark deserts stretched between the yellow face
of the moon and our backyard, where I would slip
through glittering snowcrust, playing astronaut.
The world looked solid. It was wild as thought.
TUFARIELLO received her doctorate in English Literature from Cornell University.
Her collection of poems, Keeping My Name (Texas Tech, 2004),
received the Walt McDonald First Book Prize, and her work has recently
appeared in Poetry, Yale Italian Poetry, and The
New Penguin Book of Love Poetry.]