Chernykh Discovers Asteroid # 3656 Hemingway, Ukraine, August 31, 1978 | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Chernykh Discovers Asteroid # 3656 Hemingway, Ukraine, August 31, 1978

Nicolai has had a very good night
in what will prove to be a very good couple of months
as far as the discovery of asteroids goes.

Twenty-one today, so when he sits at last
in the dawn's first rays to name them, he's exhausted.
He racks his brains trying to remember

what's been taken already,
which ones he, alone, has immortalized
in honor of a person, place, event, or thing.

He smiles to think that when he started out
he couldn't imagine running out of ideas,
there seemed so many to choose from.

He'll have to come up with 537 before
he's done. Tomorrow night, he'll discover
eighteen more floating between Mars and Jupiter

amid the space debris that no-one has yet claimed.
He can't wait for the moon to rise so that
he can train his lens to see. He yawns.

For now, the light that hurts his eyes
hides what's just beyond his reach.
The sun also rises, alas, he thinks.

-- Micki Myers


Micki Myers is a graduate of CMU, and has taught poetry and literature at the University of Pittsburgh since 1994. She is the author of Trigger Finger and has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. She raises two children and heirloom tomatoes in Squirrel Hill, and can be found at Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on independent radio, WYEP 91.3 FM.

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