There are two types of people in this world: astronomers, and those who want to fuck astronomers, hoping to get stars christened in their honor. Well, bad news: most stars are named something like x8537-- nobody's honoring anything except themselves and numbers. I never fell for the romance of telescopes: the universe's enormity, our corresponding infinnitessitude. When I think of discovery, I only think of turn-offs: blue dye in the organs, mice shot into orbit, innovations stewing in beakers under surface-mounted lights. The only honest thing about outer space is the way it's depicted in films: planets reduced to planes of flame and garbage, with fern-appointed ships for the rich to escape. Promise me no posterity, nothing extractable, no record, nothing fixed like an eye on the stock of the sky and maybe --- I said maybe --- I'll look your way.
Natalie Shapero’s new book is Popular Longing. She teaches at Tufts University.