“To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end.” ~ Nikola Tesla

There you are, prone in a white-sheeted bed
that faces a window. But where did you go

when the breath slipped momentarily
out of you, when your heart stalled

then startled and flew like a bird
into the limbs of a tree we could not see?

At one end of the lake, the skeleton of a wheel
traces the shape of a circle, its tangents

creaking in the wind. On the other end,
the roof of the planetarium slides open

so from our seats we can crane our necks
toward the sky. Between two points

of a pendulum swing lies a great
unfathomable silence with no allegiance

to either joy or sorrow; and the weight
of a silver-tipped censer, where smoke

and the body’s burning coals decrypt
the ticking of ancient stars.

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