Heart of the Scorpion

John Flamsteed's Scorpius from Atlas Coelestis (1753).  (Thanks to the Chandra X-Ray Observatory for posting image online.)

John Flamsteed’s Scorpius from Atlas Coelestis (1753). (Thanks to the Chandra X-Ray Observatory for posting image online.)

Orion
in all his hunting
never thought small

until the scorpion arrived

and showed the absurd arc
of its weapon
underfoot.

No doubt
Orion laughed
and scatter shot arrows
into the ground
around his meager prey

which barely moved

until its telson
delivered the surprise
into the heel

in one strike–

hunter with red embers
where a heart should be.

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