Michael Hardin

God Is Dark

Dark matter is where Heaven hides:
the twenty-seven percent of the universe
that science can’t find.

Dark energy is God the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Ghost: the sixty-eight percent,
stretching its arms around us.

Dark is where Christ counted
the days until he’d rapture my family from me.

Dark is also when my son fears
zombies and ghosts, things he knows are pretend.

Dark is what the equations require
to explain a universe struggling to separate from itself
until all points are lost in their own isolation,
God splintered into leptons and quarks.

Two Theories of Attraction

A neural impulse, a chemical release,
the production of dopamine.

Huddling on the porch in February
dragging Marlboro Lights,

each expiration helixed,
uncoded our thoughts:

to sip Diet Coke, unaware
of Venus and Mars and a reading

of minus twelve Celsius,
we did not need to kiss.

Desire, an instinct to reproduce,
the pack mentality, bodies equal warmth.

Resting my sole against your calf
as we sleep, each sweep of back

transformed to the other,
I inhale the anticipation

of your dreams, the wood
smell of shampoo and sweat

more profound than God
and biochemistry.

Turritopsis dohrnii

The immortal jellyfish,
hydrozoan whose medusa
reverts to polyp again
ad infinitum.

Heaven terrified me,
its unendingness,
the inevitable boredom
of the infinite.

Without a neural system
no memory of eternity,
no will to suicide,
a simple absurdity,
eating small fish and snails.

Darkness Inside

Aphantasia means
when I close my eyes,
there is nothing, a void:
no image of you or the kids.

Scattered words are how
I reimagine you, fragments
and phrases, not yet a poem:
“a dimple in your right cheek,”

“I can gather you under my chin.”
My fantasies are linguistic
phantoms, dark shadows
mask desire. Words, mere words.

My fears are also sounds:
abandonment but not death.
This is how I envision my end,
the encompassing swirls of black.

My children’s voices call me back,
echoes louder than nothing.
I can open my eyes to you,
take pictures on my phone,

a portable memory of loss.
I assumed we thought in words,
that our minds were blind to all
but the silent spiraling of sound.

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