“Portrait of the Black Hole as Alcoholic” by Rebecca Jamieson

Rebecca Jamieson


The shape of your shadow is circular, just like Einstein
predicted. Your picture looks like a drunk selfie: blurry orange
smear of chin, one dark eye draped lazily, gazing straight
into the void. 6.5 billion times bigger than the sun, you black out
Wednesday, swallowing light and matter, whatever lies
between you and the rim of that glass. Cosmic abyss,
we joke, slapping the dark vacuum of your back. Every day
you get a little hungrier. He just needs a friend,
we say. Like we could pull ourselves from your lopsided
ring of light if we wanted to. “The most exotic disrupter
of cosmic order.” It’s true. We like behemoths
of nothingness. We like your face slightly
askew. Hiding vodka in your sock drawer. Your kid’s
dollhouse. Darkness finally made visible.

from Poets Respond
April 16, 2019


Rebecca Jamieson: “When I saw the first picture ever taken of a black hole on Wednesday, the first thing I noticed was how blurry it was. As I gazed at the image, the thought of a drunk selfie flitted through my mind, and it was such a strange combination that I had to write about it. I think I was trying in some way to understand or humanize something that is so totally unfathomable.” (web)

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