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After Galileo Galilee

                                    Suzanne Zweizig

Did Lorella Calamba, the chambermaid, latch
the cabinet more tightly the night she heard intimations
of earth’s moving? Lace her lady’s dress more snugly

the next day? Step more charily, grip the crockery
more deliberately? Did she batten her hair down, pack
her head under a shawl as if for a journey or a funeral?

Or did she lean into the turning, let her scarf
Fly in the wind, hang her laundry higher to flap
in the revolution, strain to see the flat edge

go round? How did she feel the first spurts
of knowledge, the spit-starts of realization that,
on looking out the window, it wasn’t the station

of stars moving, but her? Not a worshipping sun
diving in and out like a dolphin off the coast,
but her sinking and rising under the waves of light?

What chaos now, the world hung like a piano
out the window to spin, each person riding some note
of light or dark, each one plucking and letting go.

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