The Cosmic Horseshoe
For Françoise Gilot, the painter
As a young cosmos I perfected gouache storms
around my own planets until I was drawn
electron by electron to your solar systems.
The ring slipped into my orbit as we hung
above Atacama’s southern cross, before telescopes
probed ten million light-year-old hieroglyphs.
But, you put your sun before me. I followed you,
then your fleeing Redshift (light moving from its observer).
You turned your back on my curvature
to embroider night in luminous red thread.
It’s hard to expand. warped in your vacuum,
eclipsed and refracted in the limelight of lenses.
So tell me, Galaxy LRG 3-757:
If space-time fabric is trampoline flexible
with room for every atom of our dark matter,
why do your always have to be in front of me?
This Einstein ring, where ideals can’t meet. My mass
is peripheral in your relativity. And maybe
my thinking’s wrong. After all, it seems to be physics
that galaxies have strong universes in their shadow —
invisible to man, to scientist, perceived as merely a halo.
Lover, I exist
between quark and the Virgo cluster, not thrilled
with my place on the scale, but I catch in my hand
your Pleidaes showers. I feel progress, and regress
in your orbit and that’s the disturbing truth about planets.