Untouched for months, your non-slip ruler
measures empty space. On the cutting mat,
a bone-folder remembers your index finger,
thumb, push of your palm. Dust has fallen unseen
on handmade maquettes, on the polished sheen
of the angle-poise lamp. Its moon of light hovers
over an empty pamphlet, casts a blade and a lip
of shadow from the knot and thread of its stitched spine.
Tracing-paper pages show hairline cracks
in their creases. In-between, the arthritic limbs
of a Photoshopped tree glow like a bone x-ray.
Your desk is flecked with gold paint.
I think of the traces of gold in our bodies, how all the gold
on earth was forged by stars; how you read that its glitter
is caused by the speed of electrons in its orbit,
the relative slowing of their time;
and of the crazy idea you had
that the point of death was like falling into
a black hole’s event horizon, where you could cram
a lifetime of thought into a second.
From The Paper House (Hedgehog Poetry) and first published in Under the Radar Magazine.
Image from NASA website.