Who’ll herd the creatures of the constellations
across the prairies of the night sky
if we disappear like dinosaurs into the mists
Who will name them? Who’ll call them
Crab and Bear, minor or major? Who’ll domesticate The Lesser Dog, The Little Horse, and The Wolf ?
Who would think to inscribe imaginary lines
between anonymous furnaces of hydrogen
and helium burning in the vast stillness
of galaxies where no thing breathes,
just to make something out of nothing?
Who’ll nurture the illusion of them; The Hunter
and The Hunting Dogs roaming in fields
of sprouting nebulae pocked with ditches
of dark matter among clumps of cosmic dust?
Who’ll imagine The Lyre and The Painter’s Easel
placed to serenade the inhabitants of utter space
and poised for the artist who’ll paint their portraits in a vacuum?
Who’ll inscribe The Eagle on the crystal spheres?
And who will dare to sic The Lion on The Dove
against the wisdom of The Southern Cross?
Who’ll scan The Octant with an octant
to navigate chaos on the back of The Phoenix
if we insist upon clutching The Scorpion
to our breast?
Who’ll project all the things of earth
upon the heavens if we continue to
let ourselves be devoured by
the cruel imagination of The Dragon?