The Planets
For my Brothers

Joshua Jennings Wood



We cannot be closer.


                                      Our gravities

Keep us balanced in familiar orbits.


The miraculous catastrophe, wave

We rode hurtling us to our places

While we were undifferentiated

Has broke.


                    Now we spin comfortably if

Coldly, circling in our celestial



                  What collisions we incur come

As echoes of an older explosion.


But we turn in the dark, thick partners with



                    Dead legends puncture the sky.


Memory is the vacuum we move in.


The smaller bodies have yet to settle

In their strict patterns of evasion.




Joshua Jennings Wood's work appears in DIAGRAM, Nimrod, The North American Review, Permafrost, VOLT and elsewhere. He has been a finalist for the James Hurst Prize, Pablo Neruda Prize and recipient of a John Fowles Writing Center Award and is also the poetry editor of dirtcakes, a journal exploring themes suggested by the UN Millennium Development Goals to end extreme poverty by 2015. He teaches at the Orange County High School of the Arts, as well as several area colleges, and lives with his wife and two sons whose combined age is less than five.