Nocturnes: Longer Lives, Longer Distances

Longer lives for longer distances;

longer waiting through longer anticipations

leading to longer reunions:

those words---as their corporate slogan---

obtained generous funding

from however many nations' legislatures

that could not agree on anything else.


She wanted to be spacial


(or a spacial; the grammar works for both)


because I disliked the idea.

A kissing line inaugurated the training and initation,
given that they were expected to spend so much time


No soloists ae welcome among the spacials,

not even in their sleeping quarters.

They hate masturbation like the ancient prudes

of whom History speaks, but for different reasons.


I have learned to hate the Greek alphabet.

Every planet they visit is given
some combination of Greek letters:
some are words, and some nonsense; and only

the initiated can determine what it all means.


Her life will be longer than mine.

The waiting periods will be longer than customary.

"I want to see it all as soon as I can,"

she says (in SpacialSperse, their term

for the amalgamated language they share with other;

but, by God, you the unincluded may not use it).

SpacialSperse reads between the lines

just as easily as any planetary language.

"I want to see it all, apart from you, as long as I can"

is what she really meant to say.


"Every planet gives me new opportunity
"to explore my Spacial identity."



Too long in space can make even the heartiest Spacial
incurably spastic.  One like that is here, who tells me

between the sputters of consonants and the splatters of spit,

that the word, Whore, sounds about the same

on every planet he ever encountered;

it waits for her on every planet too

while she explores her Spacial identity.


Drop the G forces from the corporate motto:

loner lives for loner distances,

loner waiting.

Loner anticipations await and expect loner amputations

of love, and of bodies two souls play through.


Loner reunions are as hollowly false

as any nation's legislators' handshakes.






Author's Notes/Comments: 

Provenance of the poem:  after I read life_used_to_be . . . 's poem, "Counting Stars," these words began to flow; a science fiction metaphor for an experience I encountered almost forty years ao.  Although the subject matter and the implied backstories of the poems are wildly different, I think the sadness---as a keynote; or as a tonal center shared by composers of two very different sonatas, for example---is the same.  Thus, I feel, in order to preserve honesty and my own good conscience, I must gladly make the acknowledgement in these notes.

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