After the eclipse

The Sun perished slowly, almost As if it were reluctant; as if, after Four-point-six billion years alight, It didn’t want to leave, Not even for a moment. I watched Through wise and wicked lenses, saw The Promethean flame, the Aztec god, Consumed by an incongruous darkling edge That seemed to me like cancer, with its Subtle yet implacable advance. The tumour Swelled as daylight died, feasting on the lamp Of life, humiliating physics and our human self-importance. Birdsong faded; in its place My ragged lonely breath—louder Than The Last Post on the eleventh of November— Made meagre mourning. Who was I To take the last breath of the world? And so I held it, feeling, though in weaker form, the Solar giant’s suffering, as it and I were slowly Starved to death. I felt My energy devoured by a midnight veil Of malice, the creeping shadow of entropy Fall upon my face, and I was cold, so cold That Icarus could stroke my cheek and still His wax would hold. The land was grey, and Nothing glinted, glowed or glittered, but sucked In light; every blade of grass Possessed the greedy gravity of infinite mass. No funeral was held that day, And not a soul wore black; Like fools, we all believed it would come back.

Aaron Saint John