We wind our way down to the lakeside as dusk begins to fall, looking
for signs in the sky the tv and internet experts have told us to expect. First we stop
by the reformed temple out in the country, unsure where exactly to look
among the usual dazzle and emerging disarray of distant suns, of vague
glow from nearby towns and the last of the set sun, except I did study
several sky maps before we set out so I should have an idea where to find
that smudge. Then farther down to the park by the shore. The last of the sunset,
a blue somehow full of peach and tan, makes the water bright as if from within.
Those experts told us that astronomers told us not actually to expect much, even as
they published beautiful professional long-exposure photographs of the thing
in all its horse-tailed glory, multi-limbed complexity of dust and ion, great chunk of ice
backing its way out of the solar system faster than any thing any of us has ever known,
into a lightless void we think oh sure we can imagine — we’ve all blindly
walked into a nightstand getting up to pee in the night, eyes full of darkness, right? —
but which, no, no, we shouldn’t kid ourselves, is so much more deeply, darkly, alien, and alone.