Keening ever and furiously adrift
from that moment before moments,

we recede.

Comoving coordinates on the widest stage,
repulsion echoes as an axiom,
implacable in every atom,
bitter as our biochemistry,
and empty
as the cosmologic red shift
of each element that ever was.

Nature doesn’t abhor a vacuum.
It wants to push.
All points subsiding,
at any scale the same,
the whole cloth mordanted of solitude,
fabric soaked to the skin.

‘Poor body, comin’ thro’ the rye,’
you and I,
lesser angels with cuspy halos
swept in the Hubble flow,
invisible to each other and
flailing in the dark.

Yet when we’re close enough,
a contraction in time, a tide in the blood, a pull.
And in this moment before moments,
bathed in a universal thrum
immense, isotropic, and complete,
we find our own (peculiar motion),
(we find our own) peculiar velocity.

Our approximation a local standard of rest.

Suddenly seeing everywhere meaning,
we rescue one another from the flood.

Acknowledgement: Robert Burns—“Comin’ Thro’ the Rye”

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