again, for some galactic rock, my sister unstuck
the glass from her eye, said there is a heaven. It sounded
like the last second of a kiss. If our parents could see our bent
necks scanning the sky from the other side of the moon,
the pocked curve hovering between us, they’d laugh at
the toy telescope. One Christmas they walked it out under
a jacket. Wrapped it in newspapers. Called it a family
present. I made them a picture frame with popsicle-sticks that year.
White glue bubbled up where the red-glittered flats overlapped. I avoid
churches now. That first-row pew, pew-pewing away. Wood marbled
smooth by asses in dress clothes. A black-tie splitting
the hologram of my presence. A priest’s voice vibrating off
the stained glass with every thud of Our Lord. Grief clutched
in our necks, held there by the off-tune echos
behind us, chanting our parents off to the cosmos.
With the telescope, we could see into another family’s home,
but never looked. We didn’t want to watch them unsnake
the tassel off the tree together. Not that year. Instead, we pointed
it at our parent’s new planet. But the toy couldn’t reach. It stopped
at the moon. Every crater, a pocket of loss our fingers
couldn’t pry. We set our telescope on its wide lens;
its tapered body standing like another hollow steeple to avoid.
Alejandro Lucero is a writer from Sapello, New Mexico by way of Denver. He serves as an assistant editor for Copper Nickel. Winner of the 2021 Iris N. Spencer Poetry Award and a semifinalist for the 2021 Adroit Prize for Poetry, his most recent work appears/is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Booth, The Offing, The Pinch, Salamander, and Salt Hill, where he was a finalist for the Philip Booth Prize judged by Matt Rasmussen.
Photography by: Luca Lago