Mosammet Hena


February second

I click on the headline:

KEPLER SATELLITE FINDS HABITABLE ZONES

possibilities for life

on Earth-like planets

in transit around Sun-like stars.

Beside the article,

a picture of a coiling cluster of stars

I click another headline:

BENGLA TEEN WHIPPED TO DEATH

sentenced along with her cousin,

who raped her

then fled the district of Shariatpur,

to one hundred lashes

for a forbidden affair.

After seventy hits with a bamboo cane,

she surrendered to the blackness

then bled to death in a hospital

several hours later.

Beside the article

by some small mercy

there is no photo.

What happened to Mosammet Hena after the fatwa?

I see her at the milky center of our spiral galaxy

swathed in a billow of ethyl formate

blended with the warmth of a thousand sighing suns,

which neither falter nor fade,

dining on raspberry mousse as airy as clouds

and delicious sponge cake

rum-flavored

and golden.

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