Fall 2009 / Issues / Poetry 2009 / Volume 40

My Astrophysicist Brother Takes a Nap — Robert J . Tillett

Sometimes you sleep on your stomach,

An elbow’s crook consuming your left cheek.

Perhaps, then, you’re tunneling toward creation–

The way you tell it–that violent instant

Frozen, captured in the pressure of an eyelash

On an arm.

But today you’re on your back

Sprawled out on the floor, a universe

In repose. This is the only time

You listen.

Cosmic strings ride your bones–

Pulsars and quarks know their place

In you–your toes are people planets

Praying to their gods as the chest waxes,

Wanes. Those hands laced behind your head,

That drifting smile and nod–your belly

Full of stars.

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