When things get lost, where do they go?
I don’t mean the hairclip, the striped umbrella,
a borrowed book. I mean: Where in space
is there a place for what is left of things
once they expire or seem extinct?
My eye can reply to a dead star’s blink.
A meteor shower powders to dust
& scatters a rain of debris on the foreheads
of planets, or in the vaulting ether
that carries galaxies in invisible hands.
Does the votive moon burn in nothing,
the flowering sun bloom from nothing?
What is air’s texture, letting objects pass
without collision, yielding right of way?
So much emptiness between heavenly bodies—
space physics says expands faster & faster
each day. Time dilates like a pupil under light
or lengthens like gum stuck between a tongue
& a finger. The haste of the universe:
It doesn’t move languorously like round-
shouldered clouds adjusting fedoras,
stoles & corsages, pausing to stretch
curvaceous limbs. Space rushes, trailing
black skirts wildly embellished with a hem
of suns & moons & embroidered light—
a woman invited to an event so grand
her excited feet are no match for her desire.
As she makes her way around the last corner
of creation, scientists follow on her heels
through telescopes, but all that remains
of her beautiful shape is the rustling
of her dress, the rippling of lucent cloth.