Dark Energy, Dark Matter • Eliza Kelley

Stars are no longer thought
to be tiny. Something
permeates imaginary
barriers, crushes
from within
carbon, the basis and building block
of life. It is Particulate
Energy, Einstein called
the Dark Constant, a quintessence
forcing galaxies
apart, accelerating bodies
forever toward
the big rip, bound
to tear through
planet, galaxy, Bethlehem
star stuff, crowded
cafés, library doors, the back
of a green bus, exploding
content, dark matter
that dwells
in the emptiest space between
pieces of iron, glass, heart. In grief
the bystander says
I felt blood on my head.
I saw terrible things.
I tried not to look.

And so
we, who misunderstand
gravity, rebuild razor wire
no one dare say, recall
snow in summer, hollow
eyes, incalculable
ash, lice, typhus, trenches
around an approach
that never arrives, the severed
arm tattoo, intricate
lampshade number sequences
naming hourglass nebulae,
coiling a collapse
even light cannot escape.