Tropic of Cancer

by Alix Ervinne

Artwork by Sarah Monroe

Above the tropic of cancer, the northern celestial blossomed with stars:

eleven for twins Castor and Pollux;

ten for the fiend slayed by the great hunter, Orion; and

eleven for the beast killed by Hercules

Above the tropic of cancer, fifty stars sang:

the twelfth about sunshine and moonshine where the scorpion waited

the twenty-second about stars that fell in a field of white where the lion slept

Above the tropic of cancer, a town where a ram with blue horns lie:

where masons once built with soil, sand, and lime

the twins and the fiend

heard the murmurs of the beast

Above the tropic of cancer, where the brick mortar hid twinkling lies:

the scorpion lay awake

the lion continued to whisper

the fiend waited for the beast to strike

Under the tropic of cancer, the southern celestial still bright:

Castor saw sunshine and felt moonshine,

while Pollux dreamt of a field of white

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