*8. Stand Back
Views shift at this distance. You have blurred. Doctors say age as a question.
Corrective lenses give frames to the picture on a crooked face.
Watch this hand twisting as hours pass with sleep
on the periphery, or am I alice waking up to dream
Tim Burton makes me blond and marriageable, and yes
killing answers the question.
This first memory of do not look at the direct sun: Look to the side, above, or under, or squint, and blurry the view. Bleed this sun across the sky or you may go blind in her sight, they said, and I have passed this along, said onto my son, Don’t look. I’ve led him away from stargazing, said, Don’t look, She is too bright. She will not blink, think twice about the scorched earth, the bitter evaporated salt, our caked skin. She is not forgiving.
He still asks about the corona, its temperature:
Is it as hot as the splitting sky, atoms cracked into blinding light? Imagine ruptured atoms and Ask:
What does nuclear fusion look like without a man’s slight hand or mathematical formulas branched out as chalkboard trees?
How did we imagine this?
Did someone see it first?
Was someone god, lower or upper case important without religion, institutional followers, or bother-ers?
Let’s make holes in this dark matter, she said with her fingertip on fire hydrogen and helium, make us combustible.
How long did time take for the first hole to lose control, explode into a singularity?
Did it guess we would theorize billions of years in the future about its existence, place lines and curves in an explanation-al order? Here, here is our portrait of a thing we cannot see. Is this comforting? When we look into light are we seeing the beginning of time, but wait, if we look closer still this gravity well, we are blind to everything but a radiating disk of stretched flight, so we hypothesize the unseen. Observe the bends in time, curves in light, guess at the center mass; this mess of out stretched arms swirling, let’s draw symbols. Express the heart we can never look at directly or we look but do not see. We cannot find a thing, or we find it unobservable sitting just a little outside of our line of sight. Do we still believe?
For all previously unseen things, we analyze the behavior of friendly objects, the motion of mates, the environmental dance: How this star moves binary, how this elliptical orbit shifts with a twin, swings a little wider with each twist or turn or pass; or how do we describe celestial mechanics; where Einstein becomes an alchemist and quantum equations become spells, and then wonders in all this explanation where is there room for wonder? Is it better to know, hypothesize, or guess than just let it sit?
Do we want to know what makes the Milky Way twirl, and is there life after death? My son asks, Is my father waiting? Does he see to this side of the paper veil? Does he know how old I’ll be when I die, and does he confide in god when he didn’t while he was alive? Does she sympathize, if he says he misses me? Does he know I miss him, especially at night, when I hold tight to the last time he laughed and I giggled after saying something trite?
I ask, will my son remember how much he is loved, when I am gone?
I know the world will spin in the same direction; the magnetic poles will shift by fractions; the continents will make contact again, but move a little closer in now, will my son have his own children? Will he love them as fragments, or universal, integral to a bigger picture? Will he believe there is no such thing as small beings, just degrees of separation necessary for existing?
Will he come to my conclusion:
I cannot love you all the same without disintegrating in a flame of loving you too much for this body to hold. I am too close to too full already, but I’ve seen you camera caught in magazines and tv screens. You were in front of your leveled house. You were huddled bunched body over your dead children. You were a blank stare standing at the grave of your machete massacred family, and I flinched, and then looked away. You were not standing close enough to me, but
isn’t it funny we don’t exploit you, explore you, or elucidate your life when you’re filled with joy? You are storied only when you are grieving. I have been in this picture. Camera caught with my son, we were hand in hand with grief, then hypothetically diagnosed with PTSD. I’m so sorry. Sometimes our lives are equated to bear like E=MC2. We become relative instead of related. How do I care when you are a stranger?
So you are relative to how well I know you, or someone who loves you. If I know your first name, see you every day, then somehow your everyday detail transforms to significant, rather than any other small moment in some other life I might pretend to believe, but bottom line I am blind when I wish I could see through this dark matter to the sun, who blisters my son with her kiss. If you stand back far enough she says, I look just like Andromeda.
* This is one section in a longer poem.