Dark Dark Dark

— Shannan Mann

Last night I saw the Ring Nebula in the constellation Lyra. Azalea vibrations circled the blue egg of its heart. It bled gold and black. I took my telescope out for no reason. Why should I need a reason to lust for space? Thumbing through a pulp sci-fi magazine, I once discovered that most of the universe is dark matter; a darkscape of energy. And remember how they said it is expanding like ripples? Now they say it’s contracting like a pregnant woman. Today, with my glass eye, I swear I saw beads of planets crumbling back to where they came from. In Indian thought, our teachers said that the universe came from itself. A matryoshka of earth water fire air ether mind cognizance ego all assembling and disassembling like moon-tugged tides or hot breaths pooling in and out of a ventilator. In Hindu mythology, the universe is a womb where you can find the blue, baby-body of God balanced on a banyan leaf as he sucks a bright toe. So, do I have the right to ask whether my womb is also a universe? In our philosophies, God has created the world countless times. How surprising, then, that sometimes he only has one son. But again, we are not so different there. I have given birth twice, but I am mother of only one.

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