Asteroid 243 Ida

Asteroid Ida & Dactyl Image

Ida — oddly — without morning — in that always
“outer” space, never travels alone.
Summed up in an Earth probe’s steely gaze,
she is shape and story of a billion-year-old (?) circuit.
No lightless offspring of some ancient star-furnace,
she is figment of a fragment of a broken parent body
brute force once ripped apart
and the craters that scar her scar-faced surface
are links in the chain of a fractured historical self.
Beneath a blanket of pulverized rock
she is primitive in her make-up — olivine,
pyroxene, iron, feldspar —
and her megaregolithic depths
are possibly mined with scraps of diamond
ignorant of sparkle. Besides the faint attraction
of a weak gravitational field,
she has her own tiny moon called Dactyl
whose one spell is to cast
over Ida’s battered “i”
its magic, imperfect, jaggedly spherical dot.

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