Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth, "You owe me." Look at what happens with a love like that--it lights the whole sky. --Hafiz
Birthed in the heart of heat and flame
I flung myself out this morning
all fierce and raw and joyous
into uncharted infinity.
Your astronomers will tell you my journey lasted only
eight minutes and twenty seconds
but for me it was nothing less than a lifetime: days
and months and years
and endless permutations and paths not taken.
Your sages will tell you that Krishna stretched his jaws
and revealed the universe in his open mouth
but after all this time I have yet to see
god's teeth reflecting myself back to me.
I remember the curved face of a planet
her features robed in coy mist. She
was so achingly lovely out there on her own
bathed in the mysteries of space;
I saw Venus and I wavered
but thought of you, and did not stop to caress her.
Gravity sent meteors rushing across my path
that nearly derailed me
nearly cut my life in half
but no shadow was cast and I hauled onward
burning through the blackness
at the speed of love itself.
I knew where I wanted to land
and it wasn't on a rock out in space
and it wasn't in a far galaxy
on a moon that orbits a planet nobody
has yet heard of
although I could get there if I wanted
faster than anything your physicists
have yet discovered.
For I am the unbroken Olympic record
of the universe.
I can bend but never break
be born but never die
and the void you imagine as night
is filled with me
if only you could see--
And I long for you to see.
Closing the distance between us
became an everyday miracle:
endless years for me
mere moments for you
but closer and closer I flew, blazing
past the space station on my way in: what strange
and wondrous things they are doing, gazing out
across a universe their minds can barely fathom.
I gazed back at them through a portal
at their eyes reflecting my own longing:
so far from home
and yet so close, this blue-green marble
this microscopic marvel
home to seven billion souls.
I entered earth's atmosphere and made a sun-bow
in the first droplets of water I touched
and instantly shattered into multi-hued love.
(Ablaze! Saffron indigo magenta snowy brilliance
Disastrous and devastating and gorgeous:
my heart, if I had one
would have died of joy
in that instant.
If only I had known
how painful beauty could be!
then I might have avoided you
I might have passed you by
journeyed millions of light-years to Andromeda
been swallowed up in the Horsehead Nebula
I might have missed you altogether
and flown on across the vault of timelessness:
what would I have discovered then?
But I chose you when I was born
and there are no clouds today and if there were
I would burn them into sun-dogs just for you
so that you would look up
and see halos in the sky
and your heart would leap with wonder.
Now my wandering has brought me here;
time is relative and it slows for me
so I can stroll like summer
along the branches of the pecan tree
that sways sweetly in the morning breeze
beside your house.
And I am nearly standing still
though you will think it impossible:
this final nanosecond stretching
slowly as a god waking from a dream.
For now that I have tasted each ultraviolet shade
of the spectrum, felt the vacuum
of outer space and danced
around every limned thing that might have held me
I have arrived, sweetheart, at your window.
And there you are
still lost in sleep and somehow
far more a miracle
than anything I've yet seen
and here I am
the single ray of light come to wake you
sparkling my way past the forgotten window-shade
to find the place I always meant to rest.
Open your eyes, love
and let me dance in them;
flung from the heart of the sun
I've traveled ninety-three million miles this morning
just to kiss your face.