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
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.