Quick Love Note

Natalie Shapero
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.