Size / / /

It's no wonder he spends

so much time alone, his one

good eye at arm's length,

aimed at no one.

He's studied relativity.

Knows the absurdity

of companionship along

the cosmic timeline,

the largest of cities

dwarfed by a dwarf star.

From the moon, he says,

the Middle East is as

serene as the Antarctic.

There is no pollution.

To shout across space

is to hear nothing, not even


          In my apartment

I leave the television on

at all times. I can't sleep

unless someone is talking,

unless all the quiet shadows

dance. The amateur

astronomer tells me that

the first radio waves

are seventy light-years away

by now, and have barely

reached the nearest stars.

That a billion miles from here

Cassini is studying the rings

of Saturn, squeezing secrets

from shards of ice. But what

are secrets? I say to him.

There's nothing new up there.

All things take up space

but words. Even mystery

is something invented

not too long ago.

Timothy Green lives in Los Angeles, where he works as editor of the poetry journal RATTLE. His poems have appeared recently in The Connecticut Review, Florida Review, Fugue, Mid-American Review, Nimrod, and other journals. His first book-length collection, American Fractal, received the 2006 Phi Kappa Phi Award from USC. You can learn more about Timothy from his website, or email him at
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8 Aug 2022

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