EVENT HORIZON

SHENG KAO

 
 
Note: This poem was awarded the National Silver Key by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
 
 

event horizon
 
it happened so fast —
the arc of a hummingbird wing,
 
and we blinked into love. now —
you wake up in a puddle.
 
remember when it rained for forty days
and forty nights? i dreamt of burning
 
in the middle of a crowded hallway.
a little Hiroshima — sun swallowing world,
 
white-ash silhouette burned into the graying footpath.
i’ll continue to be, a ghost living on
 
in public memory. gravity
will never be the same again.
 
tsunami and the earth speeds up
by nanoseconds, for want of escaping the carnage.
 
we yearned to be as transparent
as fiberglass. our fingers a heartstring’s-breadth
 
from touching, a Renaissance brushstroke
apart, a collision-not-yet-coalesced,
 
Schrodinger’s existence hovering on the event
horizon, a future that would have rivaled
 
creation itself — God abandoned us in the petri dish
before we could be born. God can’t time-travel,
 
but he can unravel history. (it felt like apoptosis.)
it felt like sepsis. it felt like dislocated cold-blood
 
jaws cocooning me in teeth, and me not caring.
(it felt like popping.) one day i swelled
 
too full of light and my soul rushed out of my
body. in our blindness we grew
 
into giants, and now our apotheosis
being cut down before our very nascent eyes.
 
hubris; it eats us alive. hedonism
wastes us all and turns us into carrion.
 
who stacked the cards against us?
a coin flips. a child falls asleep in a hospital.
 
we were sweet like honey, sticky as napalm
in greasy jungle foliage, and here i have
 
a burnt tongue to show for it. i dream
of a white-hot sun scorching holes in my cornea.
 
someone flips the monochrome switch;
a binary black-and-white. we burn ourselves out
 
and darkness sweeps in. i’d die happily
in your bed. corpsehood
 
never felt so good.

 

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