Dark Matter Vision
Strange clouds, these, lit like
dayglow velvet under black light,
where thirsty men ogled curves
hung on walls like stuffed trophies
in the daytime night of the dive bar,
while their hands slid up sweating
long necks, that first beer going down
smooth after a day of breathing concrete
dust that left powdered fingerprints
hardening on the label, no matter how
often they washed their hands.
These men have questions that beer
puts off as they head home, stars
poking out of the night at them
like Hubble’s pictures of cosmic rubble,
flattened out on LED’s by celestial brushes that painted
galactic sky in astronomical units, hard to believe
what’s out there really matters when foundations
wait to be poured.
The problem with beer,
a young man with a fuzzy face notes as he washes up,
frees his feet from fouled boots that lay fine silt
scratches over the hard wood, sits down to dinner
with his pregnant wife, pouring a large glass of water,
is that it makes him even thirstier.
So he stays up late
reading until his eyes burn, long after they finish
dishes together, way after his wife’s long-asleep head
first lay cradled in his lap, looking for something he can say,
some way to get his children-to-be to look up, beyond the clay
they would stand upon, the way he and his wife-to-be did that day,
two sophomores in college cruising the art gallery like people
so rich they could dress down, the day they conceived,
stopping in front of that painting, clouds on wood,
seeing farther outward even as the painting
drew them in like they were sliding up and down
a telescopic cylinder, trying to focus, eyes forever drawn,
even now in night-time memory as he closed a book,
full of humanity’s frail frames falling as they raised up
a house of God, like someone who can’t stop watching,
drawn toward that dark tear in the bright, nebulous dust,
full of dark energy that kept the universe expanding, like hope.
Joseph Nardoni is a poet and professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlesex Community College, in Lowell, Massachusetts. He has had his poems published in Memoryhouse, The Syzygy Poetry Journal, and the anthology, Vagabonds: An Anthology of the Mad, by Weasel Press. He is one of the faculty founding editors of Dead River Review, the online magazine of MCC, whose first issue was released in May, 2015, on WordPress. His forthcoming book of ekphrastic poetry is entitled, Pictures of an Exhibition: A Poet’s Harvest.
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