Neos Kosmos

By | 1 May 2017

You laid the city out for me in constellations
nocturnal (and always on foot)
plotting its key configurations—
Monastiraki, Keramikos, Omonia…
Scorpio had chased Orion
from the sky, its expanses benign
warm pewter to etch on.

Now, as he inches back
for a season of game (a sanctioned
but no less fatal hunt) we chart
new corners, the cold reaches
of Metaxourghio, Neos Kosmos, Sigrou Fix
So my map is indelible with the art
of a mathematician’s hand—
though your body, like your physics
would elude me in it, always slipping
through the blanks in the diagram.

By day, I trace its lines underground
dark, clanging journeys coursing
between elements and compounds.
It is milk, you tell me—gala—a revelation
of white particles, viscose, barely substantial
cohering against the probability of motion.
Elated, you marvel at its sum—an amalgam
of all the preceding, still existing, moments.

But unscientific, I could not reach back to them
discern the echoes of an expiring cosmos
or lapsed seconds from light-years
since your footfall on Solonos.
Gauging the distance between stars
I hold up an index finger, two digits,
a hand-span, and measure the emptiness in units.

And when I buy a pomegranate for my sill
(to lure you) I’m given a pair. They sit
axis tilted, in erratic unstable orbit
a two-body problem. Later they will
hear you lay back, still shuddering
and say the universe has changed
but it is always changing, I say
and so it did—shifting and fragmenting too fast
to grasp, before I’d even registered its range.

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