The universe is littered with them, strange discoveries
named like the bridges they are, suspended by braids
of integrals. The integrity of a relationship
can be measured, too. Most arc toward disintegration.
When I was twelve, my mother bought me a book
about astronomy because, as she flexed the spine open,
the symbols she couldn’t understand looked like music
I should learn. Accelerating past the speed of light
leads to imaginary time. In an imagined time,
she cut herself loose from suffering and tumbled
down a hole dark enough to be called heaven.
The heavens’ measurements are incomplete;
all scientists married to their work make widows.
In an imagined time, I never entangled myself
in an understanding of gravity as symbol
for her grief, a force I struggle to escape from.
No matter how fast I travel, light approaches
at a constant speed—the same with which it leaves.