The Exquisite Banality of Space

Interstellar space sounds like my finger on a wine glass—
whining, high and sharp, a choir we cannot identify.
I’ve listened to the recordings.
The plasma oscillates around our intrusive satellite
and sings a peculiar song.

If I ever made it to that frontier
would that sound cut into my pink brain like a knife?
Would it open my skull like a wet rose?
Unlikely, my love. I bet I would be sick of it
pretty quickly.

Let us be bored of space, you and I.
Let us look out the window of our apartment
at the leaves we cannot count,
the stones the dinosaurs crushed to sand—
at the cosmic breath, posing as the gray mist of Tuesday morning—
and think, there must be more than this.

Make no mistake,
boredom is what drives our species
from one triumph to the next.
Our minds hold awe like a wasp in a butterfly net.
No one knows how the thing
we want flutters, what petals it alights upon,
what it sees.
We must keep searching.

It’s a dangerous thought for a Tuesday.
Will I tire of you, for instance?
Will there be a day when your hand on my back
doesn’t spin my heart like red wine in a crystal glass?
Maybe. But then I’ll find a new way
for you to touch me.

If I have a prayer,
it is that someday
something with blood like mine
hears that eerie melody in real time, sees the burning fires of stars
and is unimpressed before magnificent infinities—
moves on.


Leslie J. Anderson

Leslie is a fiction writer, poet, and artist. In her day job she manages marketing for a healthcare company. She has an unhealthy obsession with lattes and rescuing puppies. Most of her free time is spent removing unsafe things from their mouths. Her collection of poetry, An Inheritance of Stone, was released from Alliteration Ink, and her novel, The Cricket Prophecies, was released by Post Mortem Press. She has two books of writing prompts, Inklings and 100 Prompts for Science Fiction Writers from Sterling Publishing. Leslie graduated from Ohio University with a masters in poetry. Her work was nominated for a Pushcart and a Rhysling Award. Her collection of poetry was nominated for an Elgin Award.

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