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Tuesday, February 06, 2018


by Sally Zakariya

Artist's Conception of the Humanity Star from Cumbrian Sky.

Rocket Lab Just Launched a Disco Ball into Orbit—
And It Could Be the Brightest Star in the Sky 
Newsweek, January 25, 2018

In the Big War, I’m told,
they turned off all the lights
at night to fool the bombers

But now earth lights shine
out to space, tracked day
and night by some celestial
bird circling with a camera
tracing longitude and latitude
orbit by orbit, building a map
of where we light up, where
we outshine the stars at night

Our lights spill out like dirty
wash water from a pail
across a shiny clean floor
and now someone launched
a fake star into the sky—a
disco ball that will reflect
the sun’s rays back to earth

Humanity Star the makers call
their sparkling orb, and just like
the humans it was named for
this flashing star pollutes
the heavens, graffiti in the sky

Sally Zakariya’s Pushcart Prize-nominated poetry has appeared in some 70 print and online journals and won prizes from Poetry Virginia and the Virginia Writers Club. She is the author, most recently, of When You Escape (Five Oaks Press, 2016), as well as Insectomania (2013) and Arithmetic and Other Verses (2011), and the editor of a poetry anthology Joys of the Table (2015). A former magazine editor, Zakariya lives in Arlington with her husband and two cats.