Daniel Levin

The Kordylewski Clouds

“The Kordylewski clouds are a very faint phenomenon
comparable to the brightness of the gegenschein.”

—Michael A. Covington, Astrophotography for the Amateur

 
Today the earth has two extra moons.
They’re wispy, high-altitude clouds made of rocks
orbiting the earth at the same distance
as the more traditional, singular moon.
One scientist has discovered 2,500 new species
of caterpillar on her own. There is a bacteria
that has evolved to digest plastic in the deepest hearts
of our landfills. Another scientist has walked
on the bottom of the ocean. She said it was like
heaven with the lights off.
 
I am very stressed out so I am thinking about magic
I haven’t seen. Bioluminescence on the edge of the ocean
in the sand it leaves behind wet and glowing as it draws
its tongues back from the shore. In Thailand a breed of fireflies
that pulses in unison. Families of river otters in India
that intimidate crocodiles.
 
Pound for pound I could probably beat up the people who
years ago, beat me up. I am not hopeful about the world today
and I won’t be even if things turn out okay. Okay, okay.
 
In New Zealand, the hills are positively coated with sheep.
There are a number of caterpillars and slugs which make crystals
in their sleep. That’s okay. That’s alright. There are forests.
Small animals crawl through the undergrowth. The tube of a bug
is currently tasting the breeze. You can see the eye
of a baby salamander pressed up against its egg,
which is floating in a pool between the roots of a tree.
 
Above our heads, 250,000 miles away, two new moons,
completely different than the moon I thought I knew,
have orbited the earth since before our lives began,
as uncaring and unaware of us as we have been of them.
 
 

Daniel Levin holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of California, Irvine. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Sarah Lawrence College. He has been the recipient of the Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Poetry as well as the Lynn Garnier Memorial Award. He’s received fellowships from The Frost Place, Tent, The Sarah Lawrence Summer Seminar for Writers, and The Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. His writing has appeared in Provincetown Arts, Bat City Review, The Sarah Lawrence Review, The Westchester Review, The Offbeat, and The Fourth River. He lives in Los Angeles where he bakes pies and tarts and occasionally very good muffins.

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