Landscape with Cheetah Going Seventy in the Serengeti

By DAVID HERNANDEZ

That’s what that russet brushstroke is
below the skyline—her spots
lost in the open plains. That’s hunger 
that blurs her. We cannot see
what she is chasing, but we can
imagine it. Zebra. Gazelle. Impala.
Antelope. The eyes of the animal 
large in its sockets. I like that lone 
acacia tree back there—it has this
bonsai spirit to it. This calm. 
And the trio of almost imperceivable 
stars in the upper corner, those light
pink grains, which remind me we are 
also traveling quick around the sun—
957 times faster than this cheetah,
not to mention the speed of the sun 
inside the Milky Way, and the Milky Way
through cold, dark, soundless space—
1.3 million mph, last time I checked.
Astronomers and physicists did
the math for us, but little did they know
what it would do to human minds 
or hearts—mine is going 
pretty fast now, just thinking about 
our velocity, our spiraling out.
Here, place your palm against it. 
Over my sticker that says Visitor

David Hernandez’s most recent poetry collection is Hello I Must Be Going. He has been awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and the Kathryn A. Morton Prize. David teaches creative writing at California State University, Long Beach, and is married to writer Lisa Glatt. For more information, visit his website at DavidAHernandez.com.

[Purchase Issue 23 here.]

Landscape with Cheetah Going Seventy in the Serengeti

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