Chasing Apophis by Ann K. Schwader

Chasing Apophis

       Earth is safe from asteroid Apophis for the next 100 years.
              —EarthSky, March 29, 2021

We’re safe this century, at least;
the chances are past miniscule
our planet might be marked deceased,

or even inconvenienced. Cool
catastrophiles, antennae trained
to catch apocalypse, your cruel

rebuke undid us—left us strained
& braced for nothing. Math can’t lie
to sate our craving. What remained

was reassurance we won’t die
so innocently: no moth / flame
romance rewarded with a sigh

of sizzling atmosphere, your name
bleak wishful thinking. Chaos waits
in hearts, not rocks from space. Our shame

betrays us, yet we hesitate
to rule you out. Recalibrate
our radar. Fix on cosmic fate.

Ann K. Schwader’s most recent collection of dark verse, Unquiet Stars, was published in 2021 by Weird House Press. Two previous collections, Dark Energies (P’rea Press, 2015) and Wild Hunt of the Stars (Sam’s Dot, 2010) were Bram Stoker Award Finalists. Her poems have recently appeared in Spectral Realms, Dreams & Nightmares, Penumbra, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, and Modern Haiku. She was the SFPA Grand Master for 2018.

Image credit: The meteor, Apophis, as it appears in the article, “Planetary Defense Mission” by Ron Miller, March 2021