Lake Astronomy

What do I know about flight

but that in Superior, I fear it?

My feet scramble for

her stony floor, but my cousins

—air-boned, limbs fluent

as skipping rocks—glide in.

Our teacher says Laika the Dog

flew into space and flies there still,

a star; but I know that stars

are gas burning with particles,

and dogs are dogs that freeze

or drown, pinned down

by airlessness. My cousins

bob and dive, and, when

Superior’s arm strikes coast,

they’re gone. I toe-count

one pebble for each intrepid kid

and mongrel lost, unsleeping,

in her frigid galaxy. But

look: Suddenly, cousins

jettison themselves free,

a growling pack of stars.