Frame Dragging

November 14, 2016

You never expected the world spin to falter, could never
have predicted the orbit’s reversal, its flattening, a rich orb of clay

easily crushed between the knuckles of some bored and
petulant child. It is an unprecedented cosmic event, months,

maybe years, in the making, the leveled Earth wobbling,
sinking into a velveteen tsunami of constellations and darkest

oblivion. We spin faster, reckless abandon, a whirling
dervish pirouetting on a single point, arms open, then closed

to manipulate drag, gaining mass through acceleration,
the gravity of the galaxy rippling uneasily in the wake of

our world’s unraveling. And all the while, the swelling
moon, ripening, opalescent, pock-marked and perfect, the

closest it’s been in sixty-eight years, last seen when
American troops desegregated, when we were united, at least,

in name, in death. An entire lifetime ago. With your
entire universe precessing, you look to the advancing stars

for answers, you can only trace elliptical patterns with
squinted eye and the tip of your crooked pinky. It’s been

less than a week since the collision course was set
and we’re torn apart once again, half of us relishing the

Earth-centric shift of thinking, the other terrified
by history, parroting itself yet again. What can we do?

Talking about our doom does nothing but fill the air
with a buzzing despair. Instead, we must turn to the

burgeoning moon, study its imperfect, ochre visage
together, a shared resource for humanity, scanning

the deepest recesses of craters for the footprints of
Armstrong & Aldrin, relics from a time lost, foreign, yet

familiar as the buzzing air we breathe, our vantage
granting front row tickets to the beauty of our own destruction.


“Longing on a large scale is what makes history.”
.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
“Most of our longings go unfulfilled. This is the world’s wistful implication–a desire for something lost or fled or otherwise out of reach.”
~Don DeLilo, Underworld

In the year I discovered
I was a lover I was a

glass-eyed and hungry
beast locked behind the
cold steel of my indecision,

unsure of what it was
that would make me whole

but wanting it all, all, all
to myself. How strange it is
to place a stranger, a body

cutting the blustery chill of
the street, into my mind,

by my side in endless permutations
of things I tell myself will make
me happy, a kiss or a fuck or a

conversation that only happens
in the scratchy highlight reel

of my fantasies. And stranger still
this attraction to people who will never
pluck me from the identity parade

of skimmed-over silhouettes; mine,
a wish made yet unfulfilled. I exist

within the shadowy halls of the
House of Black and White, a quilted
wall of faces I’ve never forgotten,

my loneliness uncovered and laid bare
before their eyes. I feel I must give account

for this shortcoming, must provide an entire
history of longing, an autobiography of
warmth lingering beneath the numb rind

of my fingers, my loins, my lips. But how
can you account for the world moving beneath

your very feet, how do you explain its wistful
implications, all rising tides and shifting plates
and stench of peat? And why do I feel I should

be ashamed of being ushered to sleep on the
rippling echoes of the confessions I whisper

to the moon, for hoping that someone else speaks
sweetly to its cratered face, for knowing in my bones
that these lunar orisons float through the cold

glimmer of aether between us, cruising along an orbit
of desperate optimism, but always just out of reach?