June 10th, Jupiter comes home.


Jupiter & I have a special relationship. Every Summer, he returns with gifts bold and brilliant; and memories difficult to hold. He is beautiful, though. And he tries. Though every night I see him rise above this planet’s curvature, I am reminded of his other visits - how he hovered just far enough away, just luminous enough as not to be mistaken for the Moon’s inconsistency. Last year he brought Mars close enough to blood red Luna. He brought Cassiopeia the year before. & the Milky Way. I remember all of it. The night sky, the smell of desert air and saltwater. Death Valley, Los Angeles evening blue and the traffic humming down Western as I sat outside my grandmother’s room night after night smoking a joint and aching aching for the words to name the kind of shatter I was feeling inside.

Jupiter you’ve marked my heart; and each memory we have shared lives embedded there: clear and sharp and acutely painful, still. Maybe this is why he comes around all the more beautiful, abundant, bearing gifts, each year. There is an intake of breath each time I see that he is back, that summertime is here again, scuffed with loss. The pang that follows feels fresh; and I wonder if it will ever dull. But the comfort of knowing that Jupiter is watching, that a giant swirling planet—too far away too fathom yet too close to ignore—has been witness to my saddest season year after year, makes me feel less alone.

This year he brings his moons. This year I will wander beneath. I will believe that every lost piece of my heart has taken residence in one of his orbital bodies. I will count each moon and pretend they are dancing, out there, with everyone I ache for, here.

June 10th. In one month my Grandmother will be gone. My longest relationship will have ended in betrayal and cruelty. My dog will begin her rapid decline. 

I want to go see Jupiter. I wonder what form Loss will take, this year. I don’t own a telescope or binoculars. If I did, I bet I’d see that he sees me, too -small and unadorned, left here alone.