Everything that rises must diverge
And skies, first blue, become black
And pricked with stars,
And finally empty, measureless;
The dread that when I was young
We called, in defeat, Space.
So we learned in school.
I've never been there
And neither have you
So you might think it didn't matter
What we thought it was,
A huge, devouring hole, or
The glorious empyrean
Any more than it mattered what nonsense
Ancient cartographers wrote in the margins,
Doodling their fears and desires;
Prester John or Anthropophagi,
Amazons or dragons. But
It matters more,
In fact, than the map of what we know.
It is the landscape of the heart
And it has to do
With what we believe is in the wings, or
Before birth, or beyond the oven
Of the crematorium.
It is what we think we will fall into
If we lose our grip.
So I will tell you what is out there
In Space; if you go to that website
Of the night sky, and click zoom
And zoom, and zoom, and zoom,
Till you're past the sandy stars
Of the furthest nebulae, and the last
Click again, and the image will gather
Of your dearest friend, reaching
To brush the hair from your face.
Young again, and full of health,
The smile of the last mirth you shared
Still lingering. If you let go, you will fall
Into her arms.