Ode to BX442

by Adam Palumbo

Your distance from me is fathomable but just barely—

10.7 billion lightyears—about as far as anything possibly

could be. Far from the street where my apartment is,

from joy or regret or any notion of chicken salad.

My friends at Wikipedia tell me I can find you in the

constellation Pegasus, at a declination of +12° 48' 0.0"

If only I could. Your grand spiral design is unlike anything

our earthbound architectures could accomplish. I wonder

if someone didn't have a hand in your scaffolding and in

your hues of blue and white. There are plenty of poems for the moon,

but astonishingly few to the galaxies, quasars, nebulae,

singularities. You may have vanished long ago, you could be

a part of my coffeetable or the downstairs neighbors' dog.

You could be ejecting outwards in all directions

in clouds of super-hot dust. Your intricate construction is, after all,

quite fragile. Or you could be where you were 10.7

billion years ago, as we know you in this corner of the Milky Way.

I hope you are still revolving in your space. I hope you have had

a happy life of baby stars and whirling worlds to keep you busy,

however far from me you may be.