The Eagle Nebula

The Whole She-bang Tonight I heard astronomers discussing the origin of the Universe pointing out that she is actually ninety percent hydrogen gas, and saying that the 'big bang' [revising the favorite theory] maybe wasn't the first. Did Edwin Hubble theorize that his bright constant would embrace our mysteries long after his present incarnation, recording deep exposures in space, providing the means to show that this 15 billion year exhalation was perhaps preceded by collapse, and that by an even more ancient primordial breathing? This living creation of our vast regal heritage of black holes, our peering back along curving lines of space-time and scintillating nebulae, in and into the living breath of this universe, has brought me to the brink of an immeasurable certainty that every molecule of my tears and bones and flesh in these mirrored landscapes were all here before, each holding a silvered memory of every laughing tide that ever swelled beneath the sapphire pull of that long look you gave me, warm in the grip of a new dawn a hundred billion years ago.

Richard Harrison

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