Planetary Nebula NGC 2371Don't let an imploding star as seen through
some mega-lens telescope
worry you for our ancient fiery orb.
Your words are measured by
a sputter of hydrogen, the treason of nitrogen,
the unwillingness of breathable air to stick around
when suns give up the flaming ghost.
Your ideas, even on such humble matters as love,
take the gutting of our solar system into consideration,
the fact that every lip you kiss, each cheek you
gently touch with trembling fingers,
is potential space dust, the kisser, toucher, likewise.
Yes, it's all the car they said would never rust
that's now as patchy as a Dalmatian,
the termite-proofed house that's crawling in
those wood-gnawing infidels.
But think of all the good times in that car, that house.
Nothing like a doomed planet
to fire the hormones on all cylinders.
So what if one day there'll be no Shakespeare,
no Kubrick, no elephants, no USA.
Take your nervous eyes off the future for a moment,
reenter the present's atmosphere.
I'm like the sun myself.
What better way of burning out
than burning for you.

Copyright © 2009, John Grey

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

John Grey is an Australian born poet and a US resident since the late seventies. He works as a financial systems analyst. He has been recently published in Slant, Briar Cliff Review and Albatross, with work upcoming in Poetry East, Cape Rock and REAL.