When Earth No Longer Offers

by John Grey

Tonight, we don't speak in lover's tongues
but ply our words like star-ships across the night sky.
We don't kiss but land our tongues on some
galactic cluster, globular halo, pulsar, quasar.
Our love no longer chants each other's goodness.
It buckles under the searing detonation
of hydrogen into helium, of solid matter into dust.
We want no beauty from the heart.
Supernovas cool, contract, such pitiable splendor.
Even dwarf stars dwarf it.
Restless with life, eyes and mouths rattle
like dice on the great black carpet of the universe.
Nothing for us here in time.
Maybe we'll roll our numbers there in space.

Copyright © 2004, John Grey
Planetary Nebula NGC 6751

Planetary Nebula NGC 6751

John Grey is an Australian-born poet, playwright, and musician. His latest chapbook is The Body's Last Days, from Richard Geyer Publishing. His work has recently appeared in Weird Tales, South Carolina Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Review.

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Image courtesy of NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)