Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Comet 67p Village

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Comet 67p Village

Article excerpt

A: I remembered past snowstorms looking down. Disorientation caused, however delicately, by the refractive effect of ice crystals in one's peripheral vision.

Q: How much surface area was visible to your naked eye?

A: Love is greater than that. And love is awful. Like the naked comet itself with its gnawed countenance.

Q: Which means "rose petals under glass" the whole time. Right. I get it. You're not going to tell me anything of use today, are you?

A: How strangely you put things! I was actually thinking of the vast darkness out there. It has to be at least 200 degrees kelvin on the surface. Our family felt empty at the center. Like if we all stopped talking there would be a void.

Q: Please, feel free to split the difference between the lander's data and yours.

A: My data chases me down the hall at night under an old sleeping bag and smothers me. My data cannot be trusted.

Q: Every time you open your mouth you sound dumber. I swear to God.

A: Things that interested me: how the surface gravity meant that I was no more really than a slip of paper. How my harpoons and the landing leg-mounted ice screws enabled me some purchase, however awkward.

Virgin dust!

Q: Did you notice anything about the porosity?

A: I have noticed that certain afternoons bring about "fits of infinite melancholy." What you might term a symphonic arrangement of celestial bodies churning out intimations of solitude followed by solar flares. …

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