Midnight, Mar. 24, 1996
What we saw up there by the familiar handle were the trailing gases-- a traveler in an ordinary starry sky. A friend, her breath rising as plumes of wisdom, tells me we should write out these cosmic comings and goings for far off generations, how we stood on frosty lawns or fields or drove away from the city's distracting glare and peered at a new light in the warehouse of heaven, not as bright as we'd hoped-- a fuzzy wandering eye in the spring of '96, end of the Millenium, almost. It wasn't God who appeared, furious at our failed world. What we witnessed was purely predictable, a piece of the machinery. Hyakutake, an amateur, saw it coming-- ice, rocks and gases-- trash from the beginning of time. Just as Comet Hyakutake appeared and held us rapt with its vague blue, the first crocuses emerged in a shadowy corner of the garden, lit their pale purple lanterns and ended winter.