by Lee Slonimsky

A molecule dances atop a tree
invisibly, of course, on the highest branch.
It sways in the wind but stays leaf-attached,
enjoying green shimmer in the lavish of June.

Laser eyes on a moon of Saturn
detect it only as a jagged sparkle
no different from trillions of cousins.

But this molecule is awash in itself,
brimming with plans and ideas,
even as shadows lengthen,
even as a dark red sun
sets under the Martian horizon.

It basks in the deep green pulse of leaves
and then a scimitar-moon
tries to smile in a purpling sky.
It flirts with one of the day’s last photons,
suncast and twilight webbed,
but photon flashes down
to the gaunt and venerable “v” of trunk
and vanishes in a pool of shadow.

Now never rules the night.

Lee Slonimsky’s work has appeared in Best of Asheville Poetry Review, California Quarterly, The Carolina Quarterly, Measure, Mudfish, The New York Times, New Ohio Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Phi Kappa Phi Forum, and Poetry Daily, and has received seven Pushcart Prize nominations. A chapbook co-authored with poet Katherine Hastings, Slow Shadow/White Delirium, was published by Word Temple Press of Santa Rosa, California, this past September. Lee’s fifth collection of poems, Wandering Electron, will be published in 2014 by Spuyten Duyvil Press of New York City. He is the co-author, along with his wife, Hammett Prize-winning mystery writer Carol Goodman, of the Lee Carroll Black Swan Rising trilogy (Tor Books). The final installment, The Shape Stealer, appeared earlier this year. Lee manages an SRI (“socially responsible investing”) hedge fund, Ocean Partners LP, which takes a special interest in companies with hiring programs for the developmentally disabled.