The Death of a Comet

In memory of Christopher Hitchens
(April 13, 1949-December 15, 2011)

Astronomers predicted the comet
would die inside the sun’s corona.
Satellite instruments prepared
to document it for posterity.
Systems tracked it.
Data was collected.

The closer it got, the more
anticipation mounted
as the object’s sludgy white tail
began to shed and vanish.

Then something miraculous happened.

The comet, flaring as it dove,
reemerged an hour later,
almost as bright as before,
and in a matter of days,
its singed tail had all but
grown back again.

And though we may not be as lucky,
I cannot help but think
the best of us are like that comet
defying them all
by plunging straight
into the hottest surface,
and living on.

Clint Margrave

Clint Margrave is the author of The Early Death of Men, a collection of poems published by NYQ Books. His work has also appeared in The New York QuarterlyRattle, Cimarron Review, Verse Daily, and Ambit (UK), among others. He lives in Long Beach, CA.