primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
[personal profile] primeideal
(See next post for context.)

In Texas it's still summer.
Not that Morgan minded the heat much,
After Hawaii,
But the wildlife is...difficult to miss.

Where nothing is alive,
Everything looks wild,
And nothing.

Morgan came for the stars
That never go out.
The air is cold and thin and does not move.
The land is high and distant, the balloons
Float in circles above them. They can dig
A mile deep just to await the crash
Of, fresh from bursts and darkness, neutrinos
That whiz through bodies trillions at a time.
They can love the edge of the world
For what it is and what it shows them
About the universe, set free
From the guilt of the furtive burrowers.
Of course, it's not Hawaii.
But then, what is?

The teferact crowd aren't so far away, after all.
They set up video chats,
And never have to worry about waking Morgan up
Since there are hardly any time zones to worry about.

Kay sends her best, and reminds Alex
That if there's one more stupid logic puzzle
About shooting colorful bears
She's going to start asking
"What color was the cat?"

Tim just waves.
Morgan tells him that they get lots of practice
Snuggling with each other.

Even Quinn is easier to talk to now.
They'd never been the closest before,
Warily prodding at each other's epistemologies,
And maybe the flat screen helps.
But finally, Quinn can bemoan the heat,
Wax nostalgic for Canada,
And someone understands his sense of humor.

"Are you close to the magnetic pole?" someone asks.
"Yeah, why?"
"It's nothing."
"Come on. One thing I've learned--
With us it's never nothing." gradually
They spill out whispers, conjectures, models.
And Morgan laughs. "'Ae, I'll have a look."

Permission granted, after a while.
The teferact team are the strangest people
Morgan knows in this dimension.
But they have that rare gift
Of letting their data speak for themselves.
Not even data--theories, and flukes,
A myriad irrepreducible moments.
As different and as diverse as they are
(the people, though the theories are too),
They don't quite need to sing those stories loud.
It's just, "your friends in Texas...oh, it's you.
Stargaze for now, but then...go right ahead."

Time's vague where there is no word for "tonight."

So Morgan adjusts the telescope,
Peeks into the infrared and the past.
Of course the view was not familiar
At first, but it's become so by now.
These are the stars of the south, and the same.
Through the computer, it's a different view,
But all the blinking lights of the machine
Were built and webbed together by human hands.
As grandeur goes, it's relatively confined
But all things considered, Morgan doesn't mind.

The first time at the geographic pole,
Was cool, the second and third too.
But even Morgan likes a change of pace,
Imagining the eddies and the lines
That rise and flow from the bottom
Of a top spinning on its wobbling way.

Dozens of times the Earth has flipped.
No reason, no telling when it might next.
Lines coil, tangle deep beneath the earth,
Or high above it. No consequences
Of gravity as far as they can tell
(Having not quite bound all forces together),
But then, the starlight warms no Earthlings yet
And they love it still.

And with the pull invisible, it's not
Like you could see everything that's trapped there.
But Morgan is used to things breaking through,
From many dimensions and knows there's more
Than what even a telescope can see.
A small electromagnet does the trick,
A little circuit, just enough
To distract the beams as iron. It's as if
A tense world had let out a breath
Held too long, slackened out
Into rhythm once again.
The waves will beat northward and northward.
Within moments, the Texan instruments
Will pick them up, know that the job is done.

He was surprised at how easily
He could spend months away from the rest.
(Technically, this is just one night; still.)
When, far away, they had crashed and burned,
He wandered the dimensions because
He never could make up for the past.
But knowing that there is truth to seek
(And knowing how far away is far)
Makes terrestrial distances shrink.

There is no native language here,
Nothing to supplant or echo.
"we have to redefine what's near
And far..." katabatic winds blow
Away every definition
Ventured by the human voice
All are beyond his position
Though twice now they've been his choice.
Ana, kata, each dimension
Any way that you can prove
It hardly seemed worth the mention
To remember how to move.

Don't run. Walk with purpose. The purpose done,
He ambles onward, maybe back to base.
He understands he doesn't have to run.
His rigid body sets a slower pace.

There's no one here to bother.
Nobody's way to get in,
No machines to ruin...
But still useless layers between him and the world.
He's all right. Hot, even. He knows
Better than the others.
He'll strip down, not stand out. Frenetic hands
Dig closer to his body.
Feeling lighter, he slowly continues.

The chill relapses and the world
Looks translation-invariant.
Somewhere things are different,
Somewhere there are others,
But it's so far...

No need.
No need to run.
Save something...
He can sleep whenever;
Dawn is an end.
The stars, for all he knows,
Have already fallen.
The sun could burn out;
He'd be the last to hear
If sound reached him at all.
There's no one
He needs
To tell.

There is
(a shiver)

nothing

Special about Antarctica,
Gravity works just the same.
His body sinks into the snow,
Caught between the ice and the stars.

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primeideal

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