Touch: The Journal of Healing


The Cat’s Eye Nebula

    by Christine Klocek-Lim

They say it could happen to us:

the sun dying, a ring of halos shaped

from the stellar wind surrounding the pieces

like a memorial. One moment you are

washing the dishes in the ruddy light

and suddenly the cold spring air

begins to heat. You go to sleep hoping

for more but not really sure. Yesterday

I saw how the birds ignored the signs,

pecked twigs and lint from the ground.

The cardinal looked as if she had something

to say, but flew off before I could open the door.

And last week you called me to describe

how the chemo seemed to be working,

smiling through your nausea—

I went to sleep dreaming of halos

surrounding you, as if angels had come

to play and left their things behind.

When I woke, the dream lingered.

Today I saw the Cat’s Eye Nebula

in a magazine. Seems Hubble found

more rings than previously suspected,

proof that there is still mystery in the universe,

but then your husband called to tell me

the news. They say the center of this dead

star is hollow. They say she once had a companion,

but no one is really sure. I expect that there is

more to learn about it but for now I’m content

to wonder as the birds twitter in the maples,

building their fragile twig houses, singing

despite the indecipherable darkness.

© 2009 Christine Klocek-Lim

Christine Klocek-Lim received the 2009 Ellen La Forge Memorial Prize in poetry and was a finalist in Nimrod’s 2006 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. Her first chapbook, The book of small treasures, will be published in December 2009 by Seven Kitchens Press. Her poems have appeared in Nimrod, OCHO, The Pedestal Magazine,, the anthology Riffing on Strings: Creative Writing Inspired by String Theory, Touch: The Journal of Healing, and elsewhere. She is editor of Autumn Sky Poetry, serves on the Board of Directors for The Externalist—A Journal of Perspectives, and her website is


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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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