Starlight living on borrowed time.

Image Courtesy of NASA

Starlight living on borrowed time.

We’ve said goodnight to the moon
And let the constellations rest across the sky.
We’ve put Taurus out to pasture
and left Boötes out to dry.
After tucking in the wrathful Neptune,
we played “find the supernova” for a while.
You won.
I said it was because you stole my glasses.
With oversized lenses framing your face,
you said I was a sore loser;
there’s some truth in that.
We’ve had a busy day.

Mind you, that’s not to say we play god
or dice with Einstein,
who throws his bones in four dimensions.
If you watch your clock, you can catch him
drawing lines of space time
to quickly shift his rolls to “Yahtzee.”
I say he cheats, but he calls it ‘relativity.’
I guess it depends on how you look at it
or how fast you’re moving.

We’re lying in bed
but we’re hardly lazy.
Maybe we spent all day indoors
but our planet traveled 2.5 million km today
which means we burned more calories
than that sleeve of chocolate cookies.

You think your head is resting on a pillow.
My arm is falling asleep
and I think I can’t feel my fingers.
That’s not what worries me.
When your breathing is steady
and I can hear your heartbeat as it leaves your lungs,
I wake you up
(in what I hope is the most gentle way of waking someone up:
slowly borrowing your covers),
and you say,


“I can’t sleep. Halloween is coming up.”


“No, I’m just wondering, if you could
harness the power of any costume for a day,
like crazy neon hair or blood drinking,
what mask would you wear?”

Thankfully, you don’t smother me with a pillow.
My fingers tingle pins and needles
and you disappear in a swirl of sheets.
Magic tricks.

“Who dares disturb the slumber of the Great Space Enchantress?”

Your wizard voice is awful.
Hiding behind a curtain of blankets,
you begin lobbing pillows like Oz
just got a shipment of artillery shells
in the midst of a munchkin war.
You run out of ammo quickly.
They do less damage than you think.

You have galaxy leggings,
constellation socks,
star cluster sweaters,
everything an early universe needs
to stay warm in windy weather.
Summer is over, mostly because
our axial tilt sits at 23 degrees
like a flirty gyroscope who can’t decide
if she wants to leave the bar with gravity.
But you’ve got a wardrobe that would make the aurora jealous.

A pillow catches me in the temple
and the rogue meteor goes flying into a wall.
You’ve reloaded.

You say:
“I’d want to relive my other eight lives, from the Big Bang until now.
I want to explode in a supernova of stardust,
fly across space in a quasar escaping a life of spinning wildly,
play the symphony of gravity as black holes
waltz around on a dance floor of space time
in the universe’s most massive ballet.

And how do black holes fit so much mass
into so little space anyway?
They must be wearing a corset
with some really hefty ribbing.

Maybe the solar systems that circle the center of the Milky Way
swirl tightly enough to keep it young.
My ninth life is the blink of a cosmic eye
in interstellar medium.
It is the the hem on the bodice
that keeps the center of our galaxy attractive.
It is just for show,
so I’d dress up like the universe
and see what else is out there.”

And I’m like…”good answer.”
You crawl out from under the covers
and my arm falls asleep
faster than the rest of me.

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