1577 c/o Sue Miller


In describing certain relationships
say, the rate of passage
of a flame-tailed accretion of ice and rock
through the cross hairs
of an earth-bound scope—
precision's contingent on the acumen
of one's instruments.

Picture the passage
of time, of celestial events,
without ability to articulate
distances with satisfactory granularity,
where the most distinguished observer,
after a long day of fishing,
thanks to a former blacksmith
cum horologist whose need to mete
out increments impels him
to add a hand to the face of time,
to break it down minutely
enough to express logarithmically
that the sweep of a particular spherule's
observable height across the firmament's breadth
remains constant across a continent.

Understanding is breached;
courts applaud and appoint
as, significantly, an atmosphere
is observed to skew away from sunward.

Imagine a race, today, run without
a stopwatch. Imagine a scientific observation
that waits on the day's catch.
Imagine a future unfurling
beyond capacity
at a pace navigated,