When I consider the night sky and all that is beyond my grasp,
how verbose and cruel the language of the stars, taunting us
from the past, which is all our instruments can peer into, I resolve
to give you the kindness of a brief poem, lest it take too long to say
what we both know. Or has time changed us in different ways?
Were you in my embrace when I watched the footage of Mars,
heard that alien wind and felt, somehow, at home;
Were our lips wet with one another’s saliva when I read
A Brief History of Time, considered places even light can’t escape from;
Were you here for me to recite these lines and not, for a year,
Were I, in those amorous, dreary midnight hours
to perspire and taste, at last, your salt,
I might conclude with certainty.
But we don’t launch rockets because they never explode.
Poetry too can break the bounds, though I’d settle for
pressing my ear to your breast, for measuring with the
palm of my hand the rise and fall of your stomach
when I confess my love.