What does degeneracy matter
in matter? This stellar
heart of mine collapsed
upon itself long
long ago. The lesser bits—
the parts that move—
are long since stripped away.
Can I convert this
deadly heavy oh so
heavy core? Change it
from überblack singularity
that lets no love escape,
but only blows rifts
of caustic unseen rays,
burning without light,
burning without heat?
I cannot even ask
for help. Asking sucks
you in. Your demise
my only light, frozen
by horizon's might
as your substance ebbs
to me. Swollen.
Massive beyond all
a whole, a core alone,
all me. I sit here,
surfeit of self.
I sit here, alone
in the dark, complete,
but wondering:
does prayer escape
the event horizon?

Copyright © 2006, Greg Beatty

Image Credit: David A. Aguilar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Greg Beatty has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa, where he wrote a dissertation on serial killer novels. He attended Clarion West 2000, and any rumors you've heard about his time there are, unfortunately, probably true. Greg writes everything from science fiction poetry (winning a Rhysling last year) to reviews of books that don't exist. When he's not writing, Greg teaches for the University of Phoenix Online. Greg recently got married.