Journalism In Verse

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A Day Made of Atoms Like Ours

in Photo Challenge/Science & Tech by

—for Katie Bouman, Black Hole Initiative

I like the idea. All our forms fall
into a thirsty black eye and disappear

no one knows where, into the never
was—the bone saws, outlaw sons-in-law,

the gerrymanderers’ mazes, Nebraska
missile silos, bump stocks and stockyards,

and yes, I suppose, hares’ ears,
red sea anemones, egrets’ beaks, you

and me, shredded, our particles blended
into a thick spun purée with car bombs

sarin and stolen plutonium pouring
out of this world, down through the whirling

clown-eye ring of maniacal photons
bent by immense disappeared mass

into a great ring of light, gateway
to another cosmos we might guess.

Let our flags our stealth alloy airships
and god icons fall, alright, and whelk shells

and spring’s star magnolia galaxies
out of the earth and the foothills’ red-gold

flows of infinite poppies. So go
our old goat hide scrolls and crosses across

that unblinking aperture, where I imagine
a kid wakes on a sun-washed morning,

a day made of atoms like ours,
and rides out among his town’s human

complexions, maize, chartreuse, obsidian…
range of a rainforest’s plumage.

 

________

Poet’s Note

“I’ve always been interested in physics, and here we have a real look at a presence that incessantly eats suns and planets. It begs the question some physicists entertain–are there other universes on the far side of that indifferent shredder? And if there are different humans there, do they fear and hate?”

________

Jed Myers is author of Watching the Perseids, The Marriage of Space and Time (MoonPath Press), and four chapbooks, including Dark’s Channels and Love’s Test. Recent recognitions include The Southeast Review’s Gearhart Prize and The Tishman Review’s Millay Prize. Recent poems appear in Rattle, Poetry Northwest, The American Journal of Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, Solstice, and elsewhere. He is poetry editor for the journal Bracken.

Photo from the Event Horizon Telescope team.

________

How Scientists Captured the First Image of a Black Hole
[JPL/NASA]

 The Dark Saga of Katie Bouman
[The Atlantic]

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