Voyager

1.
I used to talk
to my ex-husband

in Carl Sagan’s
voice, describe

to him the Pillars
of Creation,

with its orange
and yellow spires,

all that cosmic gas
and dust floating

in the Eagle Nebula
like goblins

of rock. He would
look at me the way

Ann might have
looked at Carl,

then continue
to wash the dishes.

I used to think
that whatever

tethered us
together would

be enough
for me, if it was

for him. That
maybe we had

some Ann and
Carl love.

That our trajectory
was aligned,

if not predictive,
constant.

2.
Voyager 1
is now at the edge

of our solar system
where solar winds

and shock waves
form heliosphere,

and I’m at the edge
of telling my friend

in my own voice,
own words,

that I want
to take her hand,

and point it
towards Venus,

towards Vega.
That I want

to travel with her
through the zip-codes

of the gods, peel
off her space suit,

then wrap her body
around mine

like an old blanket.
I used to think

I knew what Ann
felt, why

she recorded
her brain waves

on the Golden Record.
I used to think

that what I had
could sustain me.

+

Copper Bar, Price Tower

She can’t say what she kept,
or what she remembers leaving
in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

It could have been five sounds
or the color red, or just a film
of hotel soap on her skin.

She thinks she remembers
someone isosceles shaped
with two equal legs. But she

doesn’t remember if the person
was wearing a dress, or undressed.
She insists that there was an algorithm

to the night, that there was architecture
to her thoughts, that her actions
were wildly ordinary. But that of course

would be a lie. On the 15th floor,
of Wright’s only skyscraper,
she consumed beautiful red bell

cocktails. She listened to jazz.
And parallel to where she, herself,
was sitting, she told someone

Fallingwater can be defined
as a series of strong horizontal
and vertical lines. And that she

often imagined occupying Fallingwater.
Like calculus is the study of change
and geometry shape, that night

she came to think in numbers
and angles, and Oklahoma was
a vertex where two lines met.

It was something reached
in a fever dream, less than state,
more than a state of mind.

+

Angie Mason lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has poems recently published or forthcoming in Arkana, Split Rock Review, Midwest Review, and North Dakota Quarterly.