by Mary Alexandra Agner

To think we’ve counted all the stars!
Astrologers would say our fate is fixed,
but suns are speeding atoms, atoms part
by fission, spreading, bomb and birth admixed.

The common cloud’s both particle and whole
and can transform to rainbows or to fog.
Its optics understood, who’ll count the whales
and faces, listen to their monologues?

Ignoring blueness, depth, the lunar tide,
sonar removes the ocean’s negligee.
That naked rift, this secret shelf—no pride
turns pink to find bathymetry displayed.

Each moment asks: which do you choose to see,
the infinite or finite mystery?


‘Sonnet’ was written as part of a collaborative sonnet crown with Kathrine Varnes, Moira Egan, Marilyn L. Taylor, Debra Bruce-Kinnebrew, Amy Lemmon, and Miriam N. Kotzin.