Blue Planet, 1990


Elizabeth J. Coleman

Blue Planet, 1990

 

They seem at home
in the photo,
the two
 
boys who kiss
on the subway platform
at Voorhis Avenue
 
in Brooklyn, back
when it was in black
and white. They seem
 
content together
surrounded by graffiti,
on this blue planet,
 
inadequate
as it is, content
to exist in one nanosecond
 
of universal time they share,
having by some miracle
found each other
 
in the vastness. Maybe
they’ll have another chance
in another universe, or when
 
our own bends back on itself.

_______________

Author’s Comments: For a long time, I have been thinking and writing about the vastness of the universe and a kind of existential despair and helplessness that engenders in me. I find great comfort in moments of intimacy among sentient beings, and a random postcard I discovered reflected the tiny, intimate moment I describe in the poem. I find that learning more about astrophysics is another comfort, and this poem also reflects my finding about a scientific theory that on the largest scale, the universe curves back on itself. I love thinking about those boys in the postcard having another chance.

Elizabeth J. Coleman is the editor of HERE: Poems for the Planet (Copper Canyon Press, 2019), and the author of two poetry collections, The Fifth Generation and Proof (both from Spuyten Duyvil Press), as well as two poetry chapbooks. She translated into French Lee Slonimsky’s Pythagoras in Love / Pythagore Amoureux, a bilingual sonnet collection. Elizabeth’s poetry has appeared in a number of journals, including Bellevue Literary Review, Rattle, and Colorado Review, as well as in several anthologies, including Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic (Knopf, 2020).

Editor’s Notes:  Image of Earth in multiverses (FNORD-23 blog citing a Forbes article): https://www.fnord23.com/yes-the-multiverse-is-real-but-it-wont-fix-physics/

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