On a Beach in Astronomical Twilight

It's just so improbable, you know?
Those stars are thousands of lightyears away.

That would mean
these photons flew here, voyagers,
trillions of miles, from a home they'll never return to,
and nothing got in their way.

They didn't stop at another planet,
get eaten by another star,
collide with an asteroid,
or freeze in a comet's tail.

These photons sailed right here,
into our eyes,
for millennia.

Light bent in the right way
for us to see
remnants of an ancestor whose name is
probably a series of numbers in a spreadsheet.

And, we get to see these photons,
but not the ones who arrive later
or earlier,
not the ones caught by an overcast sky.

We only see the ones
who flew from those stars to this specific spot,
as our planet corkscrews around a different star
whose eye is currently caught mid-blink.

It's infinitesimal, these odds; these stars, their light,
and us, lying on a beach in astronomical twilight.

14 thoughts on “On a Beach in Astronomical Twilight

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