Size / / /

I've been reading Einstein's theory,

and this is what I've learned:

You can go this evening.

Put on your fine travel clothes,

jacket, bag, hat.

At the terminal, you can

buy a ticket for a ship,

a bright silver fish of a ship.

The attendant will bring you

a pillow for the trip.

She will smile, even if you are not

nervous, and remind you

this is no maiden voyage.

Take a nap during the long burn

through the atmosphere and after that,

past dying red giants and lonely moons,

your ship swimming in pools

of antimatter and that haunting

spherical music.

There will be no in-flight movies

and no conversation

with the other passengers,

who are all on their own journeys,

separate from you.

You will wear your watch backwards,

the time against your pulse,

polished back outwards, to catch

the reflections of planets like marbles

fading into the black.

Every instant of color is

connected by a million miles

of empty. The pilot will tell you

he can always see the next beacon.

The attendant has learned

not to look out windows.

You will have all the time you want,

until you are rested

or too tired to continue,

then you will turn back, not homeward,

but in the direction of Earth.

Landfall will be gentle.

The pilot will remind you that

your identification has expired,

as surely as the people

in your wallet photographs.

Everything you carry and you,

yourself, will be of great interest

and value in a brave new world.

The attendant will offer you

your bag—"Do you still want this?"

I don't know how you will answer.

Cassie Beasley is studying creative writing at Georgia Southern University. Her poetry has appeared in Clapboard House. She lives in the woods with her family, four dogs, and many shelves of books.
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