The Astrophysicist


Before I was a poet

I was an astrophysicist.

I plucked people from our reality,

braided starlight into their hair,

and made them my own celestial beings.

Girls with supernovas for eyes

hands cupped brimming with stardust

lunar eclipses in their stride.

I wrote of their place in the galaxy,

the interstellar relationships

we couldnÕt begin to understand.

And I was told these things were impossible.

But I beg you to listen to me.


Because did you know

that the earth was created when a star exploded brilliantly

and it started with hydrogen

which bonded with some other atoms and made helium

and the elements kept coming adding rows upon rows to the periodic table

until we had earth.

And so now everything that exists that is real and tangible,

is truly

made of starstuff.

We are the interiors of stars a billion years old.

So donÕt tell me I spend too much time with my head in the clouds,

because IÕll tell you itÕs way past that.

My thoughts go farther than our atmosphere.

IÕm thinking about nebulas and moons and rocks that rotate around rocks because universal law says so.

IÕll tell you gravityÕs lost its hold on me.

That I donÕt need a bulky suit and government funding to reach into the constellations

because IÕm already part of one

we all are.


© Helen Gehle