House Party

The Universe Is a House Party

The universe is expanding. Look: postcards
And panties, bottles with lipstick on the rim,

Orphan socks and napkins dried into knots.
Quickly, wordlessly, all of it whisked into file

With radio waves from a generation ago,
Drifting to the edge of what doesn’t end,

Like the air inside a balloon. Is it bright?
Will our eyes crimp shut? Is it molten, atomic,

A conflagration of suns? It sounds like the kind of party
Your neighbors forget to invite you to: bass throbbing

Through walls, and everyone thudding around drunk
On the roof. We grind lenses to an impossible strength,

Point them toward the future, and dream of beings
We’ll welcome with indefatigable hospitality:

How marvelous you’ve come! We won’t flinch
At the pinprick mouths, the nubbin limbs. We’ll rise,

Gracile, robust. Mi casa es su casa. Never more sincere.
Seeing us, they’ll know exactly what we mean.

Of course, it’s ours. If it’s anyone’s, it’s ours.


Tracy K. Smith
from Life on Mars