Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken – John Keats
These rainbow worlds of swirling nebulae
arrest you as you thumb
past smug celebrities, vacation shots
and selfies hoping to inflame an ex.
Golden discs of galaxies are sequins
spilled on a black shag rug.
The center of the Milky Way a haze
of snow that sweeps a darkened window.
The arctic indigo of sloping Martian dunes
are rumpled sateen sheets on the bed
of someone lonely. Next, a star
that might be orbited by habitable planets
yet is so distant that its numbers multiply
to never. All that mystery glittering
eons off, whose light has come so far
it may have smudged out
into nothingness by now.
Imagine gazing out across
a scratchy couch at someone you would like
to love you, but they don’t.
It seems there lies an infinite expanse
between your bodies in that stretch
of tweed upholstery.
Your spaceship capsule’s sprung a leak
and icy Nothing rushes in and fills you
with an incandescent ache.
But you are close enough to see
the amber storms that whirl
forever in their irises, that atmosphere
a place too beautiful, too far
and full of fire.