The Forty-Nine (A Poem)

We are all made of stars, astronomers are now saying

Powerful supernova explosions

From neighboring galaxies

Made their way into ours

And became us

Our rhythmic pulsing

​In the night

Confirms our membership

​To an exclusive club

Of survivors

To their massacres

We are

Both miracles

And mutants

Our DNA

Is alien

And queer

To their worlds

​This Galaxy

If modern astronomers can be trusted

And nearly half

Let’s say 49 percent

Of these planets

These bodies

Are composed

Of residual galactic matter

Then the iron in our blood

Is an outcast mixture

Of collapsed stars

Beyond the Milky Way

We are

Both miracles

And mutants

If the heaviest excesses 

Of a galaxy’s death

Resurrect in the DNA of a neighbor

​Attack as asteroids

​Bring us to a pause as comets

Then no man-made eclipse

Will keep us from fashioning

Our own Milk Ways

Our own Galaxies

We are the Big Bang

We are our own Theory

We will be

As Shakespeare’s hero Orlando

Overthrown not by our enemies

But pulled together by love and fate

​The dark energies of the cosmos

And this time

The exiled will offer no protection

​From the lioness

The survivors will not be

​Your fallen stars

​Your martyrs

And it will be our bodies

​Their clouds of gas

​The bygone moons

That we conjure

​As we dance

​And as we die

That will herald in the New Galaxy

Let the silences continue

​As you revel in your red skies

​Of ravaged flesh

Your eulogies remain unspoken

​As you erect Towers of Babel

​Exploit this labor

​Deny this divinity

​Only because you have no language

​To contain our phenomena

For those we have buried

​Your throwaways

​The castoffs of your retrograde

Exist not in far-away dimensions

​Inert and obliterated

But rotate about us

Like Saturn’s Rings

​Glorious unions of dust and light

Their dazzling is already Testimony

The shooting stars 

​To which you pray

​Because death is mesmerizing for you

Occasionally survive your fires and winds

​And become meteorites

Previously wistful streaks of light

​The witnesses to your glassy gaze

​Break through atmospheres

​And make their mark

We are

the pulsing, dancing, meteorites

Survivors of the fires.

Our own Tributes. 

We are the 49.

And this dancing

​The Big Dips

​The halo of our silhouettes

Is both a eulogy

And a Resurrection.

​Of the fallen

Their Last Dance

​Has just begun.


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