Anthony Deaton

Negative Gravity

Then weeding through birthroot in the neighbor’s

flower patch.  Again, pole-dancing

at the Pink Pussycat.  Once in Prague at a distance

one fall, cramming yourself and

child onto the number six tram

and I thought to call out


or recant, somehow, our widening elliptical

paths, but it was never

you to begin with.  A trick of light sent back

over so many miles

they might as well be the very years themselves

which separate.  Distance


is a tragedy of vision:  the bus

pulls out of the depot; droning

planes knife through time zones, flash their polished

glint over shining seas.

I have measured the redshift at dawn, felt

the anisotropy of


touch and touch withdrawn long before

reading today’s news:

Hubble Telescope Provides Final Clue.

Cosmologists decipher

relative intensities of supernova

light, confirm space


bubbles with a dark energy, a mutual repulsion

among heavenly bodies

gravity should contradict.  So the gloom

between star, planet, moon—

autumns and elections, rush hours and therapy sessions—

expands.  There will be no


stasis here, no holding-pattern,

but a further, farther reach.

One other time at a farmer’s market near

Carthage, Missouri,

ten o’clock on a Sunday morning, presiding over

mounds of brown-tasseled corn.




“Negative Gravity” appeared in Rhumb Lines (Sutton Hoo Press, 2002).