This Universal Contraption
Let’s think about this universal contraption of wheels, rings, shooting stars, black holes, red and white dwarfs, and the persistent note of B-flat that issues from a black hole in the Perseus galaxy and is fifty-seven reverberant octaves below middle C (clearly, the human ear cannot hear it). A Rube Goldberg creation, and made mostly of dark matter or dark energy, neither of which can the human eye see. Other senses? Our noses are pretty much useless, as any dog can tell you. Taste? To lick or not to lick: that is the question and it is an easy one to answer. Therefore, what can touch teach us about the whole kit and caboodle? The scientists say that dark matter and dark energy are in us, move through us as we through both, and yet and probably forever feel it not. I like to think that after we die and return to stardust (whence we came), we’ll shrug off the weight of light-years, slide steel blades on our shoes, and lean headfirst into space-time, our faces braving the cold solar air as we skate the sideways crazy 8 of infinity. [End Page 623]
A shy fellow, despite his stunning plumage Of Caribbean blue, and might his song Be lightly inflected by a Jamaican accent? A tinct of reggae?
He favors the liminal But can be coaxed to partake of dinner at the feeder Although a moving shadow will scare him off. Therefore, do not move while he is dining.
That blue—as if he carries the Atlantic Ocean On his back. As if coffee plantations call To him. As if the sky through which he sails Reflects the calm or rampant sea, a mirror Image, a blue as deep as history. [End Page 624]
Kelly Cherry published her twenty-first book and ninth full-length collection of poems, The Life and Death of Poetry, in March 2013. The most recent of her nine chapbooks is Vectors.