M1: The Crab NebulaTurquoise crystal mosaic
Shifts thousand year old light
Outward over back and forth
Revolving neutron reaction.

Vast wells of irradiating plasma
Lined dust moves at speeds
Beyond human perception
Throughout the stellar mausoleum.

The photographs of you astound me.
It fills me with a certain joy—yet longing,
For I know that I will never visit you.
I will not travel the colossal distance

In order to see those colors for myself.
I will not even have the displeasure
Of seeing with my own eyes
That they are illusions wrought

From formless clouds of nondescript
Debris spanning millions of miles
That only blur together from a distance.
Even disappointment is beyond my grasp.

Copyright © 2010, Albert Melear

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State University)

Albert Melear is currently a student of creative writing at Georgia State University.