July 4, 2013 Light travelling at 186,000 miles per second from Arcturus, a red giant star in our relative neighborhood of the Milky Way, takes approximately 37 years to appear in Earth’s night sky.
This beam of light that pricks the sky tonight left Arcturus in 1976 when we were all about ourselves, our pride reflected in new quarters and fireworks.
The space was empty between here and there when we watched actors march with fife and drum and laughed about their antique clothes and hair, astounded by how far we thought we’d come.
Dan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008) and Millennial Teeth (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), as well as a limited-edition chapbook, The Use of the World (Unicorn Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Five Points, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and two editions of the Pushcart Prize, as well as other journals and anthologies. A graduate of the MFA program at UNC Greensboro and former poetry editor of The Greensboro Review, Albergotti is a professor of English at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina.