Wednesday, December 1, 2021


 The Truth about Black Holes

My son read somewhere on 

The internet that a giant black

Hole is hurtling through space

Hoovering up everything in its path.

He’d read that it’s approaching Earth

And if we fall into its trap

It will be a fate worse than death.

You can imagine his distress:

Entombed in a silent lightless 

Awareness without the passage

Of time, like being buried alive,

Only paralyzed and blind.

I told him black holes certainly exist

But they generally don’t move.

They don't wander through

The vast universe picking 

Off planets and moons

Like frogs lopping up flies.

They don't have to.

They lie in wait

In the centers of galaxies

With an arrogant knowing

That all things inevitably return.

They don't have to seek anything out.

I told him about vertigo,

How sometimes we can’t help but fall

When we spend such time teetering 

On the verges of so many brinks.

Sometimes they’re closer than we think.

Anywhere there is absence or loss.

Every single empty space.

All that disappeared time,

Where do you think it all goes?

You're old enough to know this now.

In time you’ll learn to recognize

Where all the smaller ones are

And put them to good use.

Your broken heart,

Your stifled dreams,

Silly iterations of self,

Unreturned calls from beautiful girls,

Unreturned calls from plain, but clever, girls,

Vain failures, every last wasted effort.

All the things that hardly weigh anything at all.

But you won’t ever let them

Suck the true heart of you in.

You’ll stand your ground

And bide your time.

Sooner or later, one will arrive

Perfectly suited to your mass and size,

With a gravitational pull stronger

Than anything you could conquer.

And anyway, when it’s here

Standing will no longer be an option

For the ground is already gone.

And then you’re spinning and spinning

In complicated geometrical

Patterns, spiraling down

Down, down, ever down

To the very bottom of an infinite pit

Where language is insufficient to describe

A mass so dense not even

Light or sound could survive.

Words don’t stand a chance.

Maybe gravity is God’s word for mercy.

A word for the force that always

Shows up just before the ground whisks away,

And guides your staggered, half-standing being 

To a place that is perpetually missing,

Where the noon sun is always in eclipse, 

Where darkness is neither color nor a comfort,

Where it’s fine to lie supine

On a bed of a thousand knives,

Where your heart-pounding terror

Is cocooned by the safe embrace of sleep.

Meanwhile, your dreams, being of mind alone,

Are wide awake

And eager to get on with it,

Unaffected, as they are, 

By such forces of nature

And so they put on quite the show.

Watch boy, kick back and just watch

This flashing elongated looping distortion

Of vaguely familiar hallways and terrains,

Where everything is acceptably strange

And unmistakably real, dream real,

And all the unleashed spirits lift and soar,

Wafted by the westerlies of the ever forgiven.


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