The thing was burning on the rocky mountainside.
The flames and the smoke had drawn us up
the slope to be witnesses to the conflagration,
to stand in the shifting light until our hands
and faces were blackened and blistered by the heat,
to watch it slowly collapse in on itself,
to listen to its warbling, otherworldly death cries,
to be ready to tell people afterwards that there was
a great sharp-smelling burning up on the mountain
where there had been nothing before but stone and scrub,
that some strange alien thing had appeared on this day,
burning, as if that was what it had come for.
You go about your mundane
existences, and we observe you
though we have no optical organs –
listen to your thoughts, speech, howls
though we have no auditory nerves –
cherish, pity, despise you
though we have neither emotions
nor empathy nor sense of curiosity.
You are not aware, do not dream of us,
which is all to the good.
Your minds would shut down.
We take you, your little organic lives,
and we shake and rattle you,
and blow on you – gently, in a purely
hypothetical way – just for luck,
and cast you onto a closed timelike surface
just to see if we can make infinity
the hard way.
While you struggle to drag
yourself up out of gravity’s slime
I stride across solar systems,
my feet tearing filmy atmospheres,
comets tangled in my hair.
I draw a fierce lungful of vacuum,
gathering myself for a leap,
fighting to find a precarious balance
as galaxies tilt and reel
and dark matter rings like a bell.
Bio: Jeffrey lives in Goettingen, Germany where he is Lecturer for Scientific English at the Georg-August-Universitaet. Links to his writing can be found at www.scribbles-and-dribbles.com