Were I to write this story and, upon its completion, delete it to the last letter, and then attempt to write it once again, recreating the previous story from memory―and were I to repeat this cycle a thousand times―would I still love you the same? How far the details from the original have evolved, I know not, but what I do know is: As I struggle to finish the thousand and first cycle, possibly out of self-hatred, possibly out of fear, possibly out of a lack of pride and commitment, I bring your body out of its resting place one more time.
Original―that’s a funny word. As if to say your entire being was conceived at the drop of a hat, the utterance of a word, but that wasn’t the case. I never claimed ownership over you; you belonged to the world. I saw your creation in almost everything. Slowly, you fermented in my mind, drawing lines across my cortex, solidifying into a web of associations that strengthened the more I endeavored to forget.
Scientists (whoever, wherever you are) have estimated that the human brain could hold from several terabytes up to a couple of petabytes of information. If the sequence of a single human genome numbers a good one gigabyte, then anyone could very much fit an entire population in their head. I wonder how much of you and your thousand ancestors have been stored away in my mind and kept residence there, haunting me for all these years.
We all have that one story: Kept under wraps, locked away in the attic of our childhood, forgotten over time as it grew trivial and unfashionable with age like that pair of ridiculous blue overalls I used to flaunt because I didn’t know any better. That one story you fell hopelessly in love with before you knew what love really was. Those overalls are probably still collecting dust in that sunlight-starved attic along with every other part of my childhood I’d grown out of: dismembered toys, withering schoolbooks, abandoned friendships.
Let us go back and resurrect them all. Unfurl the bloody sheets, brush off the dust and mold―there lies your lifeless, mangled body suspended in rigor mortis, embalmed in formaldehyde, still bearing the stitched remnants of your previous incarnations. Your eyes were peeled and your mouth agape, still frozen in mid-utter. I’d abused you only to forget about you, and that has been my greatest shame.
On the first day I said, “Let there be
stuff―” and there you were, all along
in my mind as if to call the space
around me an extension of my brain
and you were a song, a story, or starlight but
forgive my solipsism and strange metaphors and god
complexes and poetic vanity I swear on my fucking
blue overalls. I am thee and thou art me and now
I know how lonely God must’ve felt
to have written a book about himself.
A key cast for fartherworlds were you, ‘neath cloud-slicing, earth-hugging shadowwall―I held you in hand, tight-like, certain, lifting your body frail―and against the brick was your face slung, and again, in turns beyond reckoning. Crumbling, fell debris till vision pieced through settling dust, and beyond broken shadowwall I saw, a storm’s howl so bleak my spine down it ran.
This sole vista was nay what I’d wanted; couldn’t have been the only sight to see. Scampered, I did, cross the wall’s infinite breadth, dragging you along, and swung you I did, hard-like as I bore holes showing only rain―and I knew I’d lose you one day not because you were too good to be true, but only because I hadn’t seen the locked door you were made to fit. I’d thought things that go up must soon come down but rain taught me otherwise for it rises just as much as it falls.
Memory is not time but it is the fourth spatial dimension, which could only mean that the memory of you exists at right angles perpendicular to this story draft but I only know as much about metaphysics as dead Greek men who, out of tenacious intellectual humility, admitted they knew nothing―but that is beside the point, the point of which is also not you, for you are too spatially complex to exist within the fractional dimension of a point―the point often being too simple, so the more you narrow yourself down to the point, the more choked you vision becomes, so what you gotta do is: You gather all the points and hold on to as much as you can carry, and you will be so proud of all the points in your arms that you will wish to share them with other people―share, not give, for points are a currency on their own, and when someone asks for one of your points, lend it to them and after they’d examined it, politely ask it back. Other people are carrying their own points too, but you believe yours are different. Sure, you just picked them off the ground. That is how everyone else got their points but―perhaps it ain’t the points you’re so proud of after all; you’re a showman is what you are and the only thing you want people to see is how good you are at showing off all your points, dressed up in poufy little tutus and marching band uniforms, performing cute little flips and cannonball tricks all according to your grand choreography.
Forgive the confusion caused by my reckless use of the pronoun “you.” Sometimes, I forget that you and I are the same.
The thousand and first
Strike a note like you would a match
and let us simmer, star-basked
in the heat of this tongue; our cantos
bear the spin of bodies in motion.
Tell me to write and I will sing
with my fingers, let E equals
mC2 be the chord progression
to the major scale of my atomic fuck.
Tell me to die and I will stand in the rain
and kiss you till you bleed. The world
will see that love is the highest art
and that we are only human.
Lessons in astrometry
Let us discuss the existential dilemma of the geometrical figure called the ray. In one definition, a ray is a series of points that originates from a singular point in space and extends to infinity in only one direction. Thus, the ray is like a queue of people except that the distance between each person would have to be equal to zero, which would make for relatively awkward small talk. Following this definition, the ray isn’t actually in a state of motion but it is in fact in a state of accumulation.
If you would so kindly turn your heads to Exhibit B, you would see that the tip of the ray dreams of flight. In this definition, the ray, in its distant past, was once a point but now it has risen from its slumber and become a superhero. It remembers every single point of its existence from its initial instance of flight up to the present as it zips away into space in a single direction. You could see that the summation of this point’s lifetime thus transforms it into a ray.
It is torn between these two states of being. Static or dynamic; caged or free; ideal or real.
Olbers’ Paradox states that were our universe eternal in unmoving space and containing infinitely many stars, the night sky would be ablaze with light. Therefore, the fact that space is dark gives credence to a young and expanding universe.
I have no idea where I was going with this but my point is―no, my ray is―you. A ray. The ray of light. Were I a heavenly body aching to send all my points soaring into space in all directions around me, could I light up the entire universe given my billion of years of existence? Or would it be a futile venture once I acknowledge the fact that space is expanding faster than the speed of light and there is nothing I can do to make my rays trump that speed, so as they spread out into space, photon density diminishes until, at the end of time, all my rays would have been spread so widely apart in the vast mass of universal dark matter and energy that my impact on the universe would have been as eventful as a solitary scream on a mountaintop or an idea in an unfinished manuscript?
My only wish is that by the time nuclear fusion has depleted all my elements, you will have traversed a considerable length of the universe, and maybe years after I have gone supernova, may you have ended your flight by colliding into solid matter, so that your photons may be absorbed―by a passing stargazer’s retina―so that at least someone, somewhere, some time, will have been aware of my existence.