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Poems
Dark Matter
(1968 / United States)

Dark Matter

It is only the space between stars.
Only matter, falling away from itself:

the dark and missing
side of the universe—
earth, air, fire, water,
quintessence the fifth element

—everything now is farther but gets there
faster: light in the wires, your hand
as it lifts toward your face, more distant
by an atom than the day before. A spilled drink
moves across the table at six feet
per second, but so too does the cloth.

We have direct evidence from the supernovae.
In the backyard, over the wading pool,
the clothesline:
crack and warble of the satellites,
their tethers webbed and straining above our heads.

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