hubble expansion


on an astronomer's relationship with the infinite.

I found a galaxy cluster the other day.
not what I was looking for, but I opened up
the image and there they were:

four little orange blobs, jostling to fit
within a patch of sky no larger than the head
of a pin, or the breadth of a hair at arm’s length.

in this profession, where space reduces
to numbers and lines on a screen, I can forget
that I am divining the universe’s end—

the unremitting expansion, the recession,
the dilution of matter into nothingness.
since I was ten years old, I have known my fate:

my body, and the work of my hands, dissolved
into foam on the quantum ocean. there is
no afterlife for us but the entropic dark.

still. there are pinpricks in the veil
of mundanity between myself and the infinite.
I think of those four galaxies— how far they are

from us, and how they will cling to each other, 
as if for comfort, while the colors and lights
of the cosmic picture recede from view.