Orbit: Slow Dance to a Long Song

image via Geekologie

the slow dance

As a poet and storyteller, the longer I consider physics, the more it seems that everything we’ve come to understand about the world–everything–is a metaphor for the mystery of love.

Perhaps because love is so complex a phenomenon, we need all the metaphors we can get.

Perhaps because love is so basic to the human frame of reference that anywhere we look, love is what we see.

Perhaps it’s because–though we may love the world, on our better days–it cannot love us back, and so it’s only natural to anthropomorphize.

But then again, I wonder–aren’t we made of the same stuff as stuff? Aren’t we, too, subject to fundamental forces? Maybe gravity is a primitive form of romance. Maybe covalent bonding is a codependence in its purest form. When organelles got together, they formed this little social club called a cell.

As Vonnegut would say–so it goes.

Along those lines, a little prose poem of mine for your Monday:


the path that an object makes around another object
while under the influence of a central force,
such as gravity.

* * *
Do you remember me as I was? Formless…drifting…empty. Veiled in a cloud of dust. You were young then, too, but you shone. Your radiant radioactivity, my beacon in the deep; your magnetic chemistry called to me across the light of years..

Through the years of light you called me, all unknowing. Even in the genesis, the first fire, and the exponential seconds—even as I snapped and leapt with the spark of youth, you were always with me, distinct among the travelers.

The hush of planets, drifting in ellipsis…I began to coalesce. Mutual attraction gave shape to our longing…rock, dust, and desire condensed…

…the moment I saw you, I knew…

…the moment we swung into step, I knew…that dance craze, all the rage…was all ours…

I spun you and you spun me; bluegreen you, magnesium sharp, your ions of iron all lined up so prettily. Entranced by your dimensions, I played the fool, flaring up big with bravado; plates breaking, ridges quaking, you shook so hard with laughter that sulphur escaped from your belly and tears sprang forth from your eyes.

You circled my skyline as I spun on my axis, hiding sometimes in my polar extremes, grinning and refusing to set. I pulled green cells from my soggy sleeves and exhaled gases to refract you.

To trace your fractal coastlines, to deliver the morning each day–but to leave you always half in darkness, dreaming, that is the dance–to come as close as we dare. The slow dance through time and space, through cosmic collisions, undaunted–through these endless inventions, mutations, selections–even as we burn through the ages–this is our long song.

When you looked up at me with shining eyes–eyes by the billions, blinking–even the old stars smiled.

When I touched your tears, you showed me colors.

And your beauty, my love, your brute, mute beauty—has invented poetry!


8 thoughts on “Orbit: Slow Dance to a Long Song

  1. Physics doesn’t bring about thoughts of love for me,but who says science can’t be a romance language.
    I’ll siimply immerse myself in the beauty of: “shining eyes-eyes by the millions.” I so love that line.

  2. Pingback: Omniscience (An Excerpt) « SDeFreitasTimmons

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