Julia Connor

May 1998

Letter to Galileo

green tendril to black vine
the hand writes
as if to breathe
ripe grape
to a Tuscan hill

October’s selvage   round
& sonorous
a lamplit
weave of rock
the moon   threads blue
to her scored arias
l’ora l’uva l’ucello
of hot Italian hills beyond
a grove of olive
the olive is about time

its impounded
silver moon
& the “crime”
of Galileo still quick
& gree on the hills

the swill
of history—

a poor old man
muttering into his beard
at the Inquisition      . . . E pur si muove
(nevertheless it does move)

Dear Galileo Galilei,

It’s October 8, 1995. I’m staying
on the hill of Archetri     a few doors up from the house
where you measured your fires     (imagine
whole months spent waiting for a star’s intelligence
to cross your lens)    the old place
is for sale again    a fixer upper
w? blue door & tower room    that may have been your jail
when blind          were the black cypress
already nailed to the sky?
am writing to say
you were right about some things
the stars wander/the earth moves
full moon last night
this morning bright
a green lizard
on a terracotta urn

we’re still caught
between two fires.

My Dyslexia

Sorrow little

when I was
a child

you were
that bird.