“If confirmed, the predictions would indeed be stunning. They would mean the universe is relatively small, something like 70 billion light years across.”
I was thinking about my last hour in the world
because that is a real thing up ahead.
A chair. The sidewalk.
A bouncing rubber ball or a chain link fence. Plain.
Recent reports of the demure limits
of our Omniverse? Unhelpful.
Just another expanse
beyond the sunken living room.
Shag carpet as far as the mind can see.
And I’m all “There go my atoms.”
Not tomorrow but the usual Day After That.
I’ve always known it.
Sitting at this bus stop Tuesday,
my heart fluttered with the first hard-edged sadness
the Occasion has ever occasioned.
The incongruity of Sadness briefly trebled the sadness,
and I was scared to think,
but had to think of all the analog
the bread crumbs in sunlit relief
on their maddeningly unswept kitchen counter
and tears for absent friends, arguments over movies
and concern for our kids,
the yelling at the kids to please help
keep the place clean,
and those uniquely awful hours
that I sometimes couldn’t hurry along
for the life of me.
We’re on our knees and shuffling
into the important-sounding Omniverse
with shoes on our knees so we look very short.
Our arms, as we leave the room,
are outstretched and aloft.
Pure vaudeville, but the tears are real, more or less
It was a quick sadness at the bus stop
but it was ordinary sadness.
Plain as a pillow.
It came and went;
Jungian mayonnaise sandwich. No meat.
Or it was a flashing cramp.
The inexplicable flashing cramps and stabs we feel in our guts
with no physiological cause
and finally no consequence.
“Oh those are growing pains.” wtf? Since when?
I thought “growing pains”
the manageable torment of a first kiss
or the humiliation by the swingset after math.
The flash was like that. A growing pain. It shook me.
What do I make of it?
You’re not asking but I’ll tell you anyway.
The abstract is surfacing
and behemoth, ascending from pineal depth,
preceded by its shimmering curtain of air
the shimmering curtain beautiful
to see from this unlikely angle.
Then a glimpse of undersea flesh
rubberized and black
humping out of the water’s vastness
to briefly take and test the homely glint of sunlight.
There’ll be a room and I’ll be in it
and it’ll be my last time in any room
save the shag-carpeted room
of the previously infinite Omniverse
through which my component quanta
will soon waft like a cheap plume.
Again, the Thornton Wilder.
Not tomorrow but tomorrow.
I think of my last stand as an afternoon
but it doesn’t have to be an afternoon.
It could and will likely
happen at some idiot hour,
inconvenient and crushing,
lit by a crummy government-issue lamp.
Will I look into the air
and appear to my few visitors to be
They’ll follow my gaze, just in case,
but there’ll be, like, nothing.
In a billion years the dice
that drove Einstein to such distraction
may (MAY) reconstitute me as a flower,
but a space flower.
Aw. What’s the use.