The universe is stretched too thin. We listen for the resounding snap. Scientists are baffled; poets laugh. Philosophers gear up for a sudden freeze.
Dark matter we’ve covered; dark energy, too. Neither can be captured, seen or weighed; but once hypothesized, theorized, it’s proven unless and until the next best theory butts in — and still a theory lives… a proven theory.
Tonight I waste little thought matter, dark thoughts on cosmological diddling.
Oh, God! I feel the elephant’s foot pressing
or is it his ass as he sits on my chest?
when I gasp it is not surprise that I experience
too many jacks strewn across the kitchen floor
a world that feels like a booby-trap exhibit
in an arcane warfare museum just off the road
to Flagstaff or Fayetteville, selling Turquoise
trinkets, sun catchers, and tribal documents
If you join, if I join, then we won’t be catching
hell or COVID-19
Alone at my Zoom window I sip confusion, watch
reality become other, another with each announce
meant to reassure but ends up doing anything
but — what we know so far is that we only know
The window mists over as I stare too long into it
The elephant gets up, lets me up as he slumps
to the corner; I’m not saying anything you haven’t
Our plesance heir is all vane glory, This fals warld is bot transitory, The flesche is brukle, the Fend is sle; Timor mortis conturbat me.
— William Dunbar
“Lament for the Makers”
His breath stopped
yet not his voice — it lives
within others and others to come.
Or perhaps it flies
on the Springtime wind
into the budding trees of May.
It will be heard
when leaves are full
green, or in Autumn’s dry whisper.
And, yes, even as Winter laughs
at our collective frailty.
The voice of a maker echoes
in protest, in pleasure — the shouts
of children at play;
of lovers at odds;
of those who wish to be heard
over the chaotic noise they have caged
within that sings, “The fear of death confounds me!”
His breath has stopped.
His voice has joined
the chorus of the makaris —
“I se that makaris amang the laif Playis heir ther pageant, syne gois to graif; Sparit is nocht ther faculte….”
They have hidden their voices.
I watch as they move
their muzzles; but nothing.
How am I to know?
They smell the same, but are not
talking to me.
No scent of anger.
No scent of play.
No sense I make
* * *
Okay, so as much as we love her, our Sophie never showed signs of enjoying us: our voices, our music, anything we did that kept her from her naps. She’s probably happy (if a tad confused) by our silences.