To honor National Poetry Month, we’ve asked 4 Minnesota-based Creative Writing Instructor-Poets to share a favorite poem by one of their students.

This week, Kris Bigalk, Director of Creative Writing at Normandale Community College shares a poem by her former student, Jessica Zick.

Jessica Zick’s poem “King of Moons” intertwines images with information about the planet Saturn, delivered in metaphors and sensory imagery. I think this poem is especially relevant as we slowly re-emerge from our pandemic cocoons, contemplating our places in the world and learning to engage again.

Kris Bigalk

King of Moons
Jessica Zick

I watch snowflakes solidify 
against the light 
of a spoken moon. Each falls from a different misty star, 
capturing petal-soft refractions of the untouchable
heavens that drift above.

Somewhere, surrounded by castles made of rock, locked amongst the pull of Sol, 
Saturn, the newly crowned King, languishes, 
his search undying.
He pulls his 82 wives away with him, through soot and cosmic rays,
collecting more hands to hold when the darkness finally takes him. 
I look for him, 

despite knowing that in late December, Saturn only lives 
bright enough for my eyes to catch him 
after sunset. 
When all fire has faded 
into fields of iridescent moonlight, Cronus flickers out of human perception.

I exhale warmth into muted night. The steam of my breath is not bound 
by the same laws that impose flesh. It is a pleasure, 
releasing fragments of life from their prison, watching 

the vivid, mutated, dreamlike apparitional creatures I held in my lungs 
into the air, free 
to find space amongst the gasses above.
I gift them back the sky. 

This moment stretches into itself without consequence. 
I wonder if this is how the god of time feels, 
stretching through his momentary eternity 

without consequence. 
I begin to feel my skin, finding my body again, 
my hands,
the first to wake, embrace the pain of going numb.


Jessica Etta Zick (they/she) is a poet and essayist. They write to capture the weird and invigorating moments of the human experience. They hold an AFA in Creative Writing from Normandale Community College, and they are currently pursuing their BFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University.