The Light at the End of the Universe (poem)

Not the bioluminescence 

of fireflies pulsing around the maple

 

out back, nor evening sunfire

flying through purple dusk, but 

 

the weak electric glow

on unmoving brown fur. 

 

A young rabbit. Huddled

in the paintbrush shadows

 

beneath my workbench.

Dead. Stretched on its side,

 

unbloodied, unbroken, perfect

save for its stillness. Trapped

 

overnight, unseen in darkness

when I pulled the door down

 

and killed whatever light

had lit its small eyes. I try

 

to taste its terror, panting

in hot blindness until its heart

 

seized. Or maybe choosing

to dive into the lightlessness

 

that lingers in all living 

things, embracing its own unknown 

 

instead of squealing

and screaming with only spiders

 

and dust to hear it. I lifted

its thinness and touched the cold

 

fur and carried it outside

to birdsong and humming wind,

 

the thick knot of vines

climbing the fence. I nestled

 

it into the green, and in

its eye was a pale and dim cloud

 

like the light of stars

long dead softly fading through space.

____________________________________________

This poem appeared previously in Riggwelter. It is included in my upcoming book of poetry, Bright Soil, Dark Sun, which is available now for pre-order purchase through Finishing Line Press.

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