He says what he wants most
is to own a star, outright, no sharing.
She says that he already does,
at least a part of one,
and he should be happy with that.
He laughs at her, and reminds
her that stars are huge, and
even a part of one would
light the room and his life.
She says she
can see them everywhere
and he could to if he
would just look carefully.
He says she is just
making noise to quiet him.
She says all it took
was a big bang and much time.
He glows when he hears this.
Before the after
now is present.
It was never
like this before,
it will not be
again anytime soon,
for there is
no time soon
that has yet to be
or just gone by.
After the before
we find ourselves
here and now.
There is never sufficient time
no matter how I adjust the clocks,
he said with a profound sadness.
What, she said, would happen
if you did not consult the clocks,
would there be time enough then?
But how would I know
if there were time enough
without clocks, he replied.
The cat watched this scene, perched
on the back of the chair, noting clocks
are how people punish themselves.
Sirius, you arise each evening. Your braying
washes the night sky, as though to daunt us.
There was a time we stood in simple awe
having no idea how far away you skulked
or of your immenseness, a cold dark point
that could barely illumine our occasional thought.
Hawking sits pressed into his chair
held in a gravity with a force of a thousand
suns, all pulling toward a singular focus
and witnesses your slow death
collapsing inward, downward into
your seat on the heavenly chariot
until the moment when nothing
can escape. Hubble knew you all
too well, chasing you across the sky
as you dodged flitting just out of grasp.
You are the coyote, hiding by day
to avoid the hunter, knowing his steps
across the mesa, hearing his footfall
reverberating through the void.
Einstein knew you all too well,
although he rarely glanced upward
preferring to stare through his mind’s
eye, dissecting you, cutting you
into neat slices then reassembling
you and placing you back on the mantle
of his limitless imagination. We no longer
fear you, or for that matter, much care
your color fades into whiteness
and you are lost like another grain
of sand on the beach of time.
Out at the edge of the universe,
time has no beginning
and stretches endlessly,
as a stone dropped,
its ripples spreading outward
across a shoreless lake.
There is no time here
at the margin, no space
consumed by all space.
I would touch the edge
and press it outward
until it all draws in
to an infinite point,
the stone at rest.
In the space
of a moment
can be engulfed,
light pours forth
from a black hole,
over the event horizon,
space curves in
until it is yesterday.
feasts on Albert’s twins
and the dice
Nature abhors a vacuum
a fact not lost on God, who spent
considerable time filling voids
and creating vessels, pots
and the odd variety of containers,
some quite will suited to their contents
and others, man as a shining example,
illogical, and worse still, leaky
so that once packed with thought and emotion
it spends years dribbling itself away
until there is only a void,
and abhorred by nature, it collapses on itself.
I cast forth words into my own void,
trying to define its limits, to give it shape,
to circumscribe a piece of abyss, and once
offset, to fill it, to fortify it against
the intense pressures of entropy.
The work of creation is continuous,
practice until you can do it without thinking,
until you can do it devoid of focus,
for then you may master it, and no longer
need to continue, to press on, you will
capture it and pen it, there will be
no need to wrestle with it, it will
exist in stasis, as it was in the beginning
before the tinkerer came along, as it was
when he rested, with no self-replicating systems
to fill the lapse when time was neither line
nor arrow, but point, jot, without dimension
and without content.