Friday Poem

I Live on Milk Street

Via Lacta, to be exact. Once it was the path
to Zeus's palace, then a creamy cul de sac; now

they just keep widening and widening. Its origin?
On that the jury's still out. It could have been paved

by the Holy People who crawled to the surface
through a hollow reed, then formed my kind

from ears of white and yellow corn. Some say
it was born of Juno's wrath, wrath that tore

her breast from a suckling infant Hercules
(her no-good hubby once again knocking up

a mortal). What spurted up, they tell me,
begat this little avenue, this broad and ample road

where I merry-go-round with my 200-300
billion neighbors, give or take a billion or two.

(Then again, it might've all been cooked up
by Raven.) My street has the mass

of a trillion suns; my roundabout's a black hole.
My backyard abuts with my dear friend Io's.

She's always asking me to come on over,
but enduring speeds upward of 106,000 mph

usually means I'm waving from the porch.
(On the plus side, the ash from her many volcanoes

does wonders for my whispering bells.) I do wish
I could get to know the Leptons, though.

I invite them to my cookouts, but they're always off
to hither and yon. And I don't mean to be catty,

but it's high time Ms. Nuclear Bulge
ponied up for a some high power Spanx.

I know there's a whole lot else out there-
starbursts, whirlpools, magellanic clouds-

but I'm busy enough keeping up
with the slugs attacking my pole beans,

making sure the garbage goes out. Truth be told, I'm happy
right here where I am, lulled by my own sweet byway's

hazy halo, its harmony of traffic.

by Martha Silano
from The Journal, Issue 33.2