I saw him skulk out with
a pair of binoculars
and knew what he was after.
Not about to wait four thousand years,
he'd laughed, driving
through the city every night
trying to find it.
I'm not interested in blurs,
he said; if it's not a spectacle,
who gives a damn?
Yet he kept looking
long after he knew it was nothing
like that fireball he brags about,
what as a kid he saw hurdle from the sky,
big as a basketball,
hissing with steam.
I flip a few more pages of Time
and decide to take a look myself.
I see him entangled
in the branches of the modest
apple tree we planted
the year we married.
Last night it broke into white blossoms
and he said its perfume stunned him.
He presses his nose
into the blossoms and inhales deeply,
sighs with the delight of a baby.
He lifts his head and stares
at the sky, raises the lenses.
I stand at the door
and watch him sniff the tree
while gazing at heaven.
When the phone rings I hurry inside.
A wrong number.
He comes in glassy-eyed,
drunk with a rush I envy.
I saw it, he gushes, in our back yard —
a comet in our yard!
He does not mention the apple tree,
nor do I, their secret rapport
that will humble him for days.
I envy his awe.
Beyond that the universe bores me.
Somebody must answer the phone,
polish the floor, flush the toilet.
Louis Gallo teaches English at Radford University in Virginia. His work has appeared in Rattle, Missouri Review, Glimmer Train, Berkeley Fiction Review, Texas Review, Amazon Shorts, Bartleby Snopes, Hiram Poetry Review, New Orleans Review, The Ledge and many others.