Shevaun Brannigan uses a familiar image in a fresh, stunning, sustained way.
Stars—They’re Just Like Us
collapsing, pressured—call me
a nova, I too was formed
by a collision of two galaxies
that never should have met.
You are luminous.
They say orbiting together
changes us. I used to shine
for anyone. Out of the billions
predict the future. That
I would die alone, my last light
speeding for years beyond me,
catching in the telescope of a boy
who hadn’t yet been born.
For hundreds of years, they said
we were immutable. What I would give
to stay on course with you
forever, or until
the universe ran out of fuel,
the heavens dimming around us
as galaxies gave out,
like in a bar when the bartender unplugs
each neon beer sign one by one, until
all that is left is the exit
until its neon dies,
or the world does.
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Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center /Flickr