“don’t you know, I’m burning up inside!” says the man in the video
and the video soon slips my mind and so does the
piercing (forgettable) scream. Until, in the way I imagine
miracles must occur sometimes, he is my oldest companion
and I understand him so fully I could cry.
If my mind, too, was bound to animal flesh, it would be
out of breath. Panting in the thick of July and ugly.
And it’s not even July. It’s mid-April and beautiful.
But I know myself for artful separation. It’s a clever
Trick; how I can sit here in a perfectly regular lecture
and think myself into tragedy. How my eyes can
frost over like an oracle’s and transcend into a
Second Realm. Where my friends are not criminals.
Where my enemies are hatable and traced in
black ink. Where they are not one and the same thing.
Not at the same time. Where time is not so despotic
and I love myself. Now the tears threaten gently and
“the universe has certain symmetries,” says my physics teacher
trying to explain antimatter to me. Poor man;
my brain is about to implode, let alone absorb.
Am I a furnace, how come everything keeps heating up,
I learned heat is just tiny things moving quicker
(in this very class one year ago) without escape—
so all I can think about is don’t you know,
I’m burning up inside! I’m burning up inside!
Remember the blind woman in the movie typing
my world is still black black black black black
This morning, the fried rice was too greasy and
I couldn’t take more than three bites. Someday
the grease will be too much and I will not get out of bed.
I will refuse. I will leave something poignant for
my headstone; something about all the transient thoughts
I wish would’ve stayed, a voluntary haunting, a summoned hum of sorrow,
like the concentrated hotness of steam, just begging.
But they didn’t stay.
And maybe that is a good thing.
Maybe the things I wish for are not good.
The universe keeps certain things out of sight
but not out of mind.
“It’s gonna look a bit like a fuzzy coffee mug stain—”
he means the first-ever image of a black hole.
We are not supposed to be disappointed
in the least. But I am, by this unremarkable ring of radiation
some middle schooler could’ve photoshopped.
Listen: when you get close enough, though,
to a black hole I mean, there is a point where light bends
so much it is circular. And there, where worlds
meet and logic separates from itself, beyond my
Second Realm or even the Third or the Fourth,
if you looked right out in front of you,
you would see the back of your own head.