Orion and the Bull by John C. Mannone

Orion and the Bull
John C. Mannone

When I look up to the stars
in a Halloween sky
I imagine a constellation
of fools chasing each other
round and round the ecliptic
stairway, sidestepping snakes
and scorpions. I don’t think
Orion as a hunter waving
his lion-killing club, holding
up its mane as trophy
but rather as some celestial
gumshoe who tiptoes on the stars
while pied-piping his magic
flute of bubblegum music
trying to lull the stubborn bull
back into the corral. No lassos,
just hypnosis—a clever stare
into the steer’s eye, Aldebaran.
But the sleuth is always pushing
his privilege, contaminating
the whole host of heaven with his
dangerous tricks and antics.
They vilify him, his mockery—
Is there is no justice
for this ostentatious fool?
The bloodthirsty moon
simply drips its celestial paraffin
while giving light to the ox
who just might gore and lop
off the head of its pursuer.

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