Starry Eyes

I mumbled to my friend,

amongst a babble of students

walking between class in the mid-morning mist,

probably from anthropology to English, moaning

over the crooks in our backs from the weight

of our books and anxieties,

“I love how big the universe is

because it means nothing matters”.

And she replied,

lugging her faux leather bag over her shoulder,

clutching a German ab initio textbook and environmental studies folder to her chest,

eyes full

of the sleep she didn’t get last night,

“I hate how big the universe is

because it means nothing matters”.

Years later, I look at my fourteen-year-old dog,

with fur that’s been flecked with grey since he was a pup

so I didn’t notice he was getting any older,

and skin so baggy with the years logged in him that, any moment, he could shrink out of his coat entirely, and hang it up on one of the pegs lining the wall in the front porch.

And I look at him, and I see

the universe in his eyes,

and realise

that we were both wrong.

Image courtesy of Jeremy Perkins.

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