Paul mistook his voice
for a headstone hallucination
in the whisky shot aftermath
downed in salute.
There the voice was again,
with trillions upon trillions of miles
of heaven travel grime
spattered upon it.
It dripped with dark matter.
With Higgs bosons.
With a neutrino halo
caught in the gravity of Paul’s grief.
His voice bruised Paul’s ears.
Might as well have been a meteorite
slamming into Albuquerque,
cratering the day’s expectations.
The voice momentarily
fossilized Paul’s bones and breath
and tears fell from his eyes deepening
the scuffed bootblack on his shoes.
copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney