Doucet — There are things they try to spare you

 There are things they try to spare you 
(or
The Physicist's Prayer)
 
by FJ Doucet*

 
There are things they try to spare you:
solemn-faced magi, heavy-cloaked with
erudition and spells to bind your eyes.
 
The astronomer's incantation is composed of:
 
1. esoteric digits
 
2. abstruse formulae
 
3. tremendous mirrors reflecting look-back time
 
4. Attic letters saying things Euripides
would understand only if the physicists
translated their logical terror.
 
--So informed, would the Greek be surprised
that our bodies are the excrement of
dead galaxies?
 
Would he be sure to tell us that
God is laughing?
 
Would he absorb the numbers with the
tragedian's sententious calm? Or wonder
what Sol's hamartia was
that only five billion years remain
before it expands to engulf us
in its dying glare, burning away
helium, carbon, and our fragile eternity?
 
(there are things they try to spare you:
solemn-faced magi, heavy-cloaked with
erudition and spells to bind your eyes)
 

*originally published under Jessica Warriner in The Saving Banister anthology, 2009