This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Alaina Hanchey, is from Wolf Hat Iron Shoes by Martha McCollough, released by Lily Poetry Review in 2022.
Black Hole Diary
dear X lately I spend my time in the study of black holes and by study I mean watching all the youtube animations I can find and then free associating I’ve learned: beyond the event horizon of a black hole time is ((((ffffrozen)))) a black hole swallows a star like a dog drinking from a garden hose . . . the internet asks an astrophysicist: what color is absence can dark matter give you powers backwards happen can time if what you might think these questions were from children but no it’s all 42-year-old men . . . meanwhile my niece dreams of a black hole under the bed and is afraid / I say don’t worry they just evaporate / which seems to be true but will take about as long as all the time there is / I leave that out not coming for us black holes don’t roam the galaxy like roaring lions seeking stray suns to devour despite their lurid press . . . dear X we might think of the cosmos as a giant circus: for example a black hole is a clown car but the clowns can’t get out. for example space is a bouncy castle whose center is everywhere for example gravity is a midway barker charismatic lowlife reeling you in roll up, roll up to a tent full of trapped curiosities this morning I saw you time lean against the door of the leopard cage sway the door a little back and forth the leopards up on their hind legs staring over your shoulders their eyes like suns does all of space taste of gunpowder fleeing stars we also flee . . . dear X I have accidentally swallowed a black hole / I’m full of darkness / disappearing / waving goodbye goodbye . . . the sky is crowded with animals it is a cabinet of clocks and bears beneath these the astronomer’s pet telescope floats weightless delicate wings unfurled to light the universe reels around my house drunk and happy the stars bounce and roll on the huge imaginary speeding asleep say why the wind of the turning planet doesn’t knock us down say why the wind from the sun doesn’t lift my hair
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