The Elusive Jellyfish Nebula
At the aquarium, the jellyfish are lit
from below—blue and pink hues
flash in time with the ebb
and flow of visitors come to see
what the depth of an ocean looks like.
The true sea is not so bright, though,
nor so clear—
Infinity reaches down from space
to the center of our waters
where jellyfish live in truth,
countless billions upon billions
of dead stars and living organisms
recycled into dust upon dust.
Near bright star Eta Geminorum,
the Jellyfish Nebula emits faint strands
of light, the remnants of a supernova gone
rogue, leaving only a neutron star to see
how the universe changes over time.
It is too far away, too large
to imagine what it would feel
like to touch those strands,
though the ones in the water sting
We imagine we know why jellyfish
are so fragile, dying easily or not at all,
but they say even stars die. We have faith
that’s true. When the aquarium closes,
the lights go out.
We’ll be home,
by Christine Klocek-Lim
from Dark Matter