He stands overlooking the vast white dish
like milk poured into a jungle-covered bowl
and thinks of radiowaves reflecting into
“How many billions of stars are hosting worlds
where life has figured out how to talk across
But to talk in our galaxy means to wait.
The speed limit of light contracts the conversations
he imagines the worlds that do talk, waiting for generations
to get a reply. What would they say, what questions
would they ask?
Surely knowing that there were others waiting in the dark
would be so satisfying in itself…
yet he’s afraid that life is limited
the shortening of telomeres impossible to stop
the aging of our flesh taming our souls
the passion that presents as flame
turns to cool winter mornings
where the warmth of a blanket means more
then the desire to maintain the connection
to sit and listen –
stars and civilizations will wither on the grapevine
great, empty gulfs that make the vacuum will never
ring with words.
He sees the vast machines that work to listen, now
but knows that now is not forever.