Space Marriage

by Dennis Nurkse

Dennis Nurkse


Our starship blew up
between Alpha Centaur
and the Second Quadrant
but we could not die
because we had stolen
the god's codes:

so we kept traveling
deeper into the future
just ahead of our bodies
and when we had sex

we felt ourselves scattering:
there in the galactic cold
where the immense numbers
begin to rotate slowly

we put on the robes
of the night sky.


An alien had imprisoned me
in that lunar module
that was just the thought
I and he fed me
what I would eat
and mated me
with the one I loved:

strange ordeal
there in the Second Quadrant
in Spica's radio-shadow
where the gravity of time
pulls dreams from a sleeper's mind:

bitter confinement
naked on a falling stone.


We built robots who built robots
that had a little of our hesitation,
our fatigue, our jealousy,
our longing for Alpha, peace, nonbeing...

They covered our long retreat,
those machines, that looked
like can-openers or outboard motors,
but with the guilty air of husbands
and the god's fixed stare.


It was a system:
we loved each other,
the war began on Vega,
we watched the hurtling lights,
and the silence drained us.


Out of spit and dust
we made two lovers
who set fire to the world.

Last updated December 21, 2022