All go somewhere

The time has come to speak about the next stage we reach
either by chance or by plans no one has yet made out, we only know
we all go somewhere in this material universe we know as home.

Your true mother’s face is unshaved, brooding over basaltic depths.
Your uncle clings to the lip of a rock pool alongside
twenty thousand of his kind, none of the others previously Terran.

The tall girl you knew in high school with the braid down her back
pumps ferrofluids to dizzyingly branched extremities,
though she is a young sapling, and still learning.

The old guy upstairs you haven’t seen since New Year’s day
is a polyp in a dwarf galaxy our instruments cannot make out.
Elvis is one too but they haven’t met yet.

The wife of the general vaporized by one of our drone strikes
has become fragrantly luminous, tripartite, free from pain.
Her husband clings to life and cannot say the same.

We’re not allowed to know where any of
the right whales and orangutans have gone off to,
and you shouldn’t ask about the springer spaniels.

It’s been a long time since any humans have turned up
in this patch of space again and by now
all of the ones who have are far away now.

When they tell you that you can’t take it with you,
they don’t mention the scent of hexapods roasted by flare star light,
or the ingenious scuttling sedans which eat gravity.

And while there is eternal punishment somewhere,
one does not really need to fear unquenchable fire.
There are other colorful ways to balance the books.

I tell you this not so you should go spread the word,
which wouldn’t make one bit of difference to a single soul,
but just hope to encourage quiet reflection.

Those of us who know a thing or ten thousand,
who also lie in the dark thinking of trillions of stars,
really prefer an indefensible black silence.

—Richard Magahiz