by Calista L., 17
as poets we love to talk about space, about stars and moons orbiting planets orbiting stars, and moons, the ethereal tug of our moon on the tides and satellite signals bounding across solar systems
but nobody ever talks about the
e m p t y s p a c e .
we are physically incapable of imagining the true scale of the universe, of picturing the 31 million miles of vast nothing between here
an expanse of black so large it is, to put it simply, incomprehensible and we tell ourselves we can touch the
stars like it’s an easy thing.
yes, we all have stardust in our veins,
yes, we were born from and will return to the heavens,
yes I, too, can see the milky way in her eyes when she tells me she loves me, like a spaceship
but most of our galaxy does not shimmer the way we make it out to. most of our universe is not composed of nebulas and planets, of fiery explosions and gap ing black holes—most of our universe is composed of nothing at all.
how outrageous it is, then, to compare the girl I love only to what I can wrap my mind around—what a tragedy it is to believe the distance between here and the moon is anything less than
yes, I am in love with the moonlight as it falls on her hair, with the aurora borealis itself as I see it in her irises, but yes, I am also in love with the weeks that we don’t speak.
with the cold hands and empty conversation and the dull, icy pit in her stomach that holds her and won’t let go because when it does—and it will—only then can we see the first star on the horizon.
after all, if we hadn’t spent so long spinning in empty space, it wouldn’t be so beautiful to see the first glimpse of