Issue Twenty-Nine - Winter 2017

LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves -September 14, 2015, 5:51am EST

By Kaylie Anne Johnson

1.3 billion years ago,
two black holes kissed for the first time.
Absorbed by each other,
a mass three times our sun
shot out from their bed posts.
Ripples in their fabric reached ours
in a slight blip to the walls of our lasers
and our bedrooms.
Waves of gravity fell onto our sleeping legs,
tapped on our windows in the night
like a branch cracking
under the weight of bats,
100 years after perching in our trees.

This is the warped side of the universe,
not the smoothed hotel beds
coated in decades of smoke.
We explore the dips in our mattresses
and the dots of yogurt
that hang from tin lids.
Slowly, we peel back the unlikely,
the banana shape in the sky
from which the waves rolled to us.

It happened on my time
in West Michigan,
on the time of $300 per hour lawyers in Washington,
crawfish in Louisiana.
I know nothing about Livingston
or if they actually eat crawfish,
or as we say crayfish,
You can’t feel gravitational waves
and I didn’t know until February
that these black holes were dancing around each other,
until that moment they became one.

Copyright Johnson 2016