glass bodies 151 160

The spirit of Europa

Sunsets are blue on Ἄρης. Then Εὐρώπη
spouts bright water plumes, fountains
of ice from cracks in the shell, tidal
flexion from her daddy’s massive gravity field.

Ποσειδῶν has a dark cyclone, and bright
sister clouds, while Κρόνος sports
a shrinking superstorm spot. Hydrogen
nitride, not water. Oscillations, dissipating.

Jetting water 200 kilometers above its
surface, the icy moon probes the passing
space, while circling the castrating giant,
its silhouette squeezing past the bright light.

Astrophysical reflections on the broad-eyed
goddess from the perspective of a star-gazer.

She was the daughter of Agenor, a bull carried her
off into Crete to a cave on Mount Ida. And on her
disappearance from Earth, the Phœnicians

honoured her. She is a broad-faced Jovian moon. Some claim her sister Io is her
ancestor, a volcanic heifer, mythically hot.
Τηλέφασσα was her mother, herself daughter

of a sea-nymph, a soft cloud, a Nereid in the
sky. There are three thousand such daughters
in the sky; for every spring, river, sea, lake
pond, pasture, flower or cloud on mother Crete.

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