I Don’t Understand Black Holes No Matter How Many Times Cody Explains Them to Me: A Poem by Courtney LeBlanc

Black holes

Photo by Guillermo Ferla on Unsplash

I Don’t Understand Black Holes No Matter How Many Times Cody Explains Them to Me

Because the idea that a place is so dense
nothing escapes – not light, not sound –
is something I can’t wrap my small human
mind around. Imagine approaching it, Cody says, not
giving up on my inability to grasp the concept,
but as you enter it you begin to stretch, like silly
putty. And even though you’d already be dead
because nothing can live in the dark void of space,
imagine if you were alive, you’d just keep stretching,
infinitely pulled in opposite directions but never
breaking apart because the gravity is so dense,
nothing can escape. Some things are just too big
for me to understand. Now scientists say
they’ve found a new one, the closest one to Earth
ever discovered. It’s still 1,500 lightyears away
which is another concept I don’t understand but
that’s too much for one poem. For now I’ll just
accept that black holes exist, that they are closer
than we previously thought, and that they are
a force so powerful, every mistake I ever made
would be swallowed by them.

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