I asked Zaq to show me where we are in the milky swirl. Here, he said, pointing to something
nebulous on his screen, and it felt like searching a first-trimester ultrasound
for the heartbeat, pretending I saw it too, the tiny life inside chaotic dark. We are simultaneously moving
towards and away from a black hole at the centre of the galaxy. We are a bug
on the windshield of a tank gunning along the autobahn. Even smaller, Zaq says.
The bug that bug had for lunch, if that. It’s sad being the bug other bugs nom on,
but sadder the fact there aren’t any
others—no one else
complicit in our spinning. I used to lie
and say Zaq and I lived above
a nightclub. It was a thrift store and anyway
we don’t live there anymore.
When I ran out of clean clothes
I’d grab a shirt off the discount rack and smell
like a stranger all day. It halved
my loneliness, living like that.